Braves release new renderings of proposed stadium
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves released new renderings of their planned suburban stadium Wednesday, showing a hotel and office building towering beyond the right-field stands.
The images focus on the multi-use development around SunTrust Park, which is set to open in 2017 in Cobb County. It will replace Turner Field, the team's home since 1997 near downtown Atlanta.
In addition to the hotel and office tower, Braves officials there will be a large facility hosting several restaurants and bars, as well as retail shops and housing in the complex around their $622 million stadium. There are also plans for an outdoor amphitheater with grass seating, as well as an indoor concert and convention venue with a capacity of up to 4,000.
The team did not release details of any possible tenants, saying talks are still ongoing.
Derek Schiller, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the Braves expect to begin making announcements in the first three months of 2015.
''We're in the very early stages of discussions with a number of different retailers,'' Schiller said. ''We've begun to show them this plan as well as supportive information in the past 30 to 45 days. There's tremendous optimism from the marketplace and a great deal of interest.''
Schiller stressed that the images are subject to change, dependent on the needs of the companies that locate in the complex.
Some details have yet to be worked out, most notably a new pedestrian bridge that will allow people to utilize parking on the opposite side of Interstate 285, one of two major freeways adjacent to the complex.
There are questions about how the bridge will be funded, particularly amid concerns that the ballpark will add to the massive traffic jams in the area and that the gridlock would be even worse if the team can't access parking on the opposite side of the highway.
Mike Plant, the Braves' executive vice president of business operations, said the team is still in discussions with Cobb County transportation officials.
''We've designed a pedestrian bridge landing area within the mixed-used development,'' Plant said. ''Those conversations are ongoing and very active. Certainly, we are continuing to feel very confident there will be a pedestrian bridge bringing pedestrians over 285.''
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