Braves' New Ballpark Will Be Unique Due To Adjacent Development's Simultaneous Opening
Architects at K.C.-based Populous said that they view the Braves' planned Cobb County (Ga.) ballpark as "a different challenge" than the 20 others the firm has designed for MLB teams, according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Populous Founder & Senior Principal Earl Santee, who is in charge of the Braves' project, said that the ballpark "will be built in 'a natural bowl' on the hilly, forested site, likely facing south toward Atlanta." The ballpark "will have 41,500 seats 'as close to the field as possible,' making for a 'more intimate' experience than 50,000-seat Turner Field." He said that the exterior "hasn’t been figured out yet, other than that it will be 'transparent' in some way." But Santee added that what "makes this a challenge unlike any of Populous’ previous projects" is the Braves’ plan to build the ballpark "simultaneously with an adjacent mixed-use development." Santee: "Honestly, it hasn’t been done before." Populous’ agreement with the Braves "doesn’t include designing the mixed-use development, but the firm must create a ballpark that works in synergy with the rest of the project." L.A.-based The Jerde Partnership will "serve as master planner on the 57-acre project." Santee: "We are not looking at anything as a prototype (for the Braves stadium). We want it to be completely authentic to the Braves, Georgia, Cobb County, Atlanta and the Southeast." Santee said that the tentative plan for the ballpark is to "have four main entrances, not all of which would be on the same level because of the changing topography" on which the ballpark will be built (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 3/28).