Braves Prepared For Ballpark Name Change After SunTrust-BB&T Deal
Braves President & CEO Derek Schiller said the team was “just learning of” the pending merger between SunTrust Bank and BB&T that was announced this morning, but he said SunTrust’s contract for the naming rights to the Braves’ ballpark “is constructed to deal with a situation like this." Schiller, who is attending the MLB winter owners meeting in Orlando, said, “We've been in touch with SunTrust and will wait for them to come to us with what they want to do.” The combined company will merge under a new name, which has yet to be determined. The Braves in ’14 signed a 25-year deal with SunTrust ahead of the ballpark’s ’17 opening that is worth more than $10M annually. In addition to the SunTrust Park name itself, there is the high-end SunTrust Club right behind home plate that is a key part of the Braves’ premium seating mix. That also will need a new name.
MORE VENUES INVOLVED: The merger also will impact several pro and college sports venues across the country that currently involve BB&T. The NHL Panthers play at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., while three MiLB teams have naming-rights deals with the bank -- the Triple-A Int’l League Charlotte Knights, the Single-A Carolina League Winston-Salem Dash and the Single-A N.Y. Penn LeagueWilliamsport Crosscutters. Meanwhile, Wake Forest football plays at BB&T Field, while Northern Kentucky basketball currently calls BB&T Arena home. Other key sponsorships the bank has involve Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the ATP’s annual stop in Atlanta.