Baseball team to call its new ballpark ‘SunTrust Park’
Shortly after the Atlanta Braves broke ground on its new Cobb County Stadium Tuesday, the baseball team in a press release announced the forthcoming ballpark will be called SunTrust Park.
Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks, Inc. signed a 25-year naming rights deal, according to the announcement.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to partner with a great organization that shares our values for winning and serving the community,” William H. Rogers, Jr., SunTrust Chairman and CEO, said in the release.
“This partnership provides SunTrust increased visibility on a regional and national level through a truly unique mixed-use development that will attract fans and visitors throughout the year. Importantly, it will help us reach more people as we fulfill our bank’s purpose of lighting the way to financial well-being.”
The 25-year agreement includes marquee signage for SunTrust as well as additional signage and promotional opportunities throughout the ballpark and adjacent mixed-use complex. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
SunTrust Park is slated to open in the spring of 2017.
Sells its soul? Hardly. It’s just good business. It’s the reality of sports, not just nationwide, but worldwide.
The soul was lost when Ted sold the organization to a publicly-traded mega corporation in Time Warner. Liberty Media later acquired them in what amounts to a tax break.
A corporate title sponsor is fitting for this organization. A nice gesture would have been some mention of Cobb County since they’re helping foot the bill. But the Braves already have their money so no need.
I wasn’t aware that they had a soul to begin with.
This is the stupidest (and frankly most subtly racist) move a professional team has ever made moving to the suburbs. I hope the whole thing goes down in flames.
I don’t consider the Braves move as really being to the suburbs. If anything, the new location is actually more urban than the current one and is only 12 miles up I-75 from the current location. As well, I believe the census zone of the new location is less than 40% white. It’s kind of ironic that the only part of metro-Atlanta area that is seeing an increase in the white share of population is the part within the actual city limits of Atlanta. For all other parts of the Atlanta metro area, the share of white people is shrinking and shrinking substantially. While the new Braves ballpark will certainly be in a more viable part of town, it will hardly be in a white part of town. Not even remotely close. It’s not the 1990s anymore. If current trends continue, in about 25 years if not way sooner, Cobb County will be less white than the actual city of Atlanta. How many people are aware of that?
Sorry Mark, but your logic is off the mark (no poun intended). The issue is not the demographics of the new zone but the demographics of the LOCATIONS. White people didn’t want to come town to south Atlanta to watch games because of the proximity to People’s Town, Mechanicsville, Adair Park etc. The Braves are pandering to white suburban provinciality by moving them. And if you think that 12 miles up 75 doesn’t mean its suburban and that it is somehow “more urban” then you don’t really know what “urban” means in either land use or cultural terms.
Mr. Urbane Optimist, I respectfully disagree with your analysis. From 1992 to 2000, the Braves drew over 3 million fans to their games for each year. In 1993, the Braves averaged a massive 48,000 per game at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in a part of town that was much more of a ghetto then than it is today. Yet white fans showed up in droves. So I don’t think the problem today is that the Braves majority white fan base is all of sudden more racist than they were 21 years ago.
So what has changed aside from the team just not being as good? One thing that has changed is that traffic has gotten progressively worse and it takes a lot longer to drive to the games today than in the 1990s. Another thing that has changed is that fans today, far more so than 20 years ago, want an experience that involves more than just going to the game. They want access to entertainment, restaurants and bars — both before and after the game. The Turner Field location did not offer that. The new location will.
As for why I said the new location was actually more “urban” than the current location. My reasoning was as follows: Turner Field while technically in downtown Atlanta, is really in a spot that is effectively cut off from the city. For all but a small share of fans, it functions very much as if it’s a suburban stadium 25 miles from the city center. Contrast that with the new location which is adjacent to one of the metro area’s major employment centers. That will allow many fans to just walk over to games once they leave work in a way that is near non-existent now. Being able to walk to games is something that’s consistent with being in an urban area and is not something that Turner Field lends itself to.
As well, the new location will actually be closer to a few major population centers within the Atlanta City limits than the current Turner Field location. For example, the new location is closer to Buckhead than Turner Field is. While I live in the west mid-town part of the city of Atlanta, I’m expecting it will be substantially easier for me to get to the new ballpark than Turner Field.
Let’s put our thinking caps on and fast-forward 10 years, even 25 years and 35 years. The area where the new park will be is urbanizing at a fast pace, along with other areas around the northern boundaries of I-285. Within 20 years, I would be quite surprised if MARTA or some form of light rail is not in Cobb County Galleria area. And with the rate of demographic change and urbanization being what it is — within 35 years, I think it more likely than not that much of Cobb County and Gwinnett and the non city parts of Fulton County and DeKalb County will all choose to become part of the city of Atlanta. I think it’s inevitable.
Leave a comment