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SBD/April 14, 2017/Facilities
SunTrust Park Continues Facility Trend Social Gathering Spaces; Ballpark Reviews Solid
Published April 14, 2017
GETTING THE FULL MAKEOVER: YAHOO SPORTS' Jay Busbee wrote SunTrust Park "presents a simple truth: you can have one hell of a fine time here without ever seeing a single live pitch." There is "no doubt" that SunTrust Park is a "beautiful facility." But this is also a "shrine to Brands as well as Braves." The facility "isn't authentic," but it "gives such a convincing appearance of authenticity that you feel like you've been been here before." It is as if Turner Field "lost a few pounds, hit the gym, had a bit of work done and moved out to the suburbs." The "simple fact is that this is an impressive stadium" that will "provide you a carefully curated afternoon of Baseball-Themed Entertainment." It is "worth a visit for stadium road-trippers, if only to see what's coming next to your town" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/12). USA TODAY's Gabe Lacques writes SunTrust Park is a "testament to the restless nature of modern franchises, along with the desire to mix sport into an atmosphere where fans can integrate a live-work-play experience into the patronage of their local squad" (USATODAY.com, 4/14). In Atlanta, Mark Bradley wrote under the header, "The Braves' Arrival Leaves Cobb County Forever Changed." The Braves and their ballpark and its Battery Atlanta mixed-use development are "now the first things we think of when we think of Cobb County" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/13).
WHAT'S IN A NAME? The JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION's Tucker noted SunTrust and Braves execs recall that they "realized early in discussions that their companies were aligned philosophically" and then "made the deliberate decision to see if a deal could be done by ground-breaking." SunTrust Chair & CEO Bill Rogers Jr. said, "We thought if we're going to do this, let's take this out of the long-term bidding process and all that, and let's actually just be great partners. We thought we could be a real asset to the park and the development and that we could be a bigger asset if we announced early." Tucker noted naming-rights deals "rarely come together quickly." Rogers: "That ... opened our eyes to, particularly, the national exposure that one could get through a sponsorship. Seeing SunTrust behind the batter on every pitch, seeing people across the county respond to that, seeing clients respond ... That was sort of an eye-opener to what a naming-rights relationship could be" (AJC.com, 4/11).