Sun Rises on New Braves Ballpark

ABOVE Poolside guests will marvel at Braves baseball at the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, set to open in early 2018.

The Atlanta Braves are getting closer to having a new home, thanks in part to Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie, which even now is putting the finishing touches on SunTrust Park in Cobb County. Should crowds stretch to the horizon as they did in the baseball saga “Field of Dreams, ” a new hotel will soon be available to catch the overflow.

SunTrust Park is about much more than baseball. The Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, which had its topping out ceremony in mid-January, is one indication. The full-service hotel will have 16 floors, with 264 guest rooms, including 28 suites. A 5, 000-square-foot ballroom is planned, along with an elevated pool deck and bar overlooking the ballpark, and a signature restaurant.

The mixed-used development around SunTrust Park will include residences, premier office space, an entertainment venue and plenty of retail and dining options. General contractor Brasfield & Gorrie is working with architect C+TC Design Studio on the project for TRT Holdings Inc. 

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While there have been some hard feelings about the Braves leaving downtown, tourism officials say the team will be a good fit with Cobb County’s recent growth. Estimates have the team creating annual earnings of $36 million for more than 3, 000 employees, including 1, 600 in Cobb.

If the Braves manage to play better than in 2016, when they finished in the National League East Division basement, those numbers could theoretically rise. Even sellouts will be easier at SunTrust Park, which has a capacity of 41, 000, or 20 percent smaller than Turner Field. SunTrust seats will be up to 50 feet closer to the field than Turner, which started its life as an Olympic Stadium and now will become a football field for Georgia State University.

The first exhibition game at SunTrust, a soft launch event, is penciled in for March 31. Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta is scheduled to open in early 2018. 

Text by Dave Helms

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