SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta

Through SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta, the Braves have reimagined how a professional sports franchise can generate lasting revenue streams with the right design, ultimately changing the marketplace forever. As an owner or partner with everything inside The Battery Atlanta the team has added significant real estate assets to the well-established corporate partnerships, media rights, ticketing, concessions and merchandise revenues, the facility has enabled the team to position itself as a premier innovator in sports business operations.

Approximately 100 teams and leagues from around the globe have visited, inspired by our business model and the incorporation of commercial real estate as an asset class. They see the facility of the future not simply field or play-focused. Moreover, they are inspired by how the Braves have created a neighborhood where its brand thrives year-round.

For 81 of those days, this large campus is anchored by the sights, sounds, smells and excitement of Braves baseball. Fans come early and stay late to enjoy the atmosphere. Those without tickets still visit, compelled by the desire to still be part of the environment that is now bigger than just what’s inside the gates.

When not in season, visitors remain immersed in the Braves brand. From a unique array of special events in common areas to partnerships with retailers, fans can connect with the Braves. In fact, December proved to be more successful for The Battery Atlanta than any month during baseball season as the team activated the development to connect the Braves brand with some favorite wintertime activities like an ice skating rink, a Christmas Tree lighting event and a New Year’s Eve celebration, cementing the project as the place to be all year long.

Collaborating with their design partner for the ballpark, Populous, and an array of architects, land planners, destination builders and engineers, the integrated venues and buildings offers a destination where Braves fans and local residents can live, work, shop, stay and play.

SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta constitutes a leap forward in terms of fan experience for professional sports venues. A joint professional ballpark and mixed-use development, it completely redefines what a sports venue could – and should – be.

An All-Encompassing Live/Work/Play Fan Experience

Collaborating with their design partner for the ballpark, Populous, and an array of architects, land planners, destination builders and engineers, the integrated venues and buildings offers a destination where Braves fans and local residents can live, work, shop, stay and play.

SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta is an immersive destination, seamlessly integrating a ballpark with a mixed-use development. Despite having an aggressive timetable for a $1.3 billion project rife with logistical challenges, the entire project was finished on time and on budget.

By fashioning a mixed-use development, complete with residential units, Class A office space and a host of dining and shopping options, the Braves delivered an unrivaled fan experience on day one. SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta enables the Braves to move into real estate development and generate revenue from an entirely new source untapped by other Major League Baseball teams, while also creating an immersive environment for their fans.

Fueled by the Braves’ ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation, the team is directly involved in assuring that all these experiences are part of a larger fan-focused environment.

A Ballpark Wired For The Future

Powered by Comcast’s all-fiber network, SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta is the most technologically advanced sports venue in the U.S. With a terabit of internet capacity, 200 GB of bandwidth, 1,350 access points and 250 miles of fiber optic cables, it boasts the largest internet capacity and fastest wireless service for professional sports in North America.

Fans on their mobile device enjoyed an average of 233 MB upload speed, empowering people to create and share content easily from their seat.

The facility also embraces mobile technology, with 50 percent of fans entering the ballpark via their mobile device through the revamped Braves MLB Ballpark app (of which usage by fans increased 124 percent year over year). The app is fully integrated into SunTrust Park/ The Battery Atlanta and features a first-of-its-kind partnership with Waze, enabling fans to buy tickets, secure parking and get directions to their designated lot. Data uploads exceed downloads at the ballpark as SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta is the most Instagrammed location in Georgia.

And this is just scratching the surface as only five percent of the network capacity was utilized at peak usage, positioning the facility for future innovations and technologies.

Designed by Populous, the ballpark brings together a classic feel, modern amenities, and southern hospitality, creating a fan experience unlike any other. Never before had a sports venue and mixed-use development of this magnitude been jointly built, but the Braves sought to deliver SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta by Opening Day 2017.

The entire project, which totals more than three million square feet and cost nearly $1.3 billion, was built in two-and-a-half years and came in under its projected budget.

An Intimate Setting

Smaller than its predecessor Turner Field, the ballpark offers 41,149 seats that maximize sightlines. It features a three-deck design with the middle and upper decks cantilevered over each lower deck to ensure all seats are closer to the action. Wider concourses, most with direct views to the field, allow easy access around the ballpark to specialty food and beverage areas.

Staying Cool in the Sun

Mindful of the hot Georgia summers, the Braves crafted a 108,000-square-foot canopy – the largest in Major League Baseball – to offer shade for more than 60 percent of the seats. Supported by 25 structural steel columns, the canopy varies in width throughout the ballpark. It also utilizes breathable mesh seats in several locations, produced by 4 Topps. There are 2,563 in the dugout section,324 chairs in the INFINITI four top section, and 313 bar stools outside the Coors Light Chop House. MillerCoors also created innovative beverage chillers specifically for the three-story Coors Light Chop House to keep a drink as cold as when poured.

Unrivaled Visuals

In centerfield, a 7,773-square-foot video board with LED display is a primary focal point and is one of the largest in Major League Baseball. It is flanked by additional ribbon and bullpen displays. The ballpark also utilizes LED Sports lights under the canopy that can be programmed for situational scenarios to flash, chase or pulsate.

Mizuno Glove Experience

A first-of-its-kind, the Mizuno Glove Experience is located inside the ballpark and allows fans to check out Mizuno baseball gloves to catch foul balls and home runs during the game at no cost. Fans will be able to return the gloves at no cost or purchase them at the end of the game.

Fan Friendly Experience

From wider concourses to expanded concession offerings to a dedicated children’s play area, SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta was engineered to heighten the fan experience. Inside the ballpark, a shade canopy that shields more than 60 percent of the seats helps fans keep cool during the Georgia summers, while the fastest WiFi in Major League Baseball enables guests to remain connected while watching the action on the field.

Recognizing that fans increasingly are seeking social gathering spaces within a ballpark, the Braves and Populous sought to break the ballpark up into what the team characterizes as “neighborhoods” to ensure fans can find the experience that best suits their interest, whether they are attending with clients, friends or family.

  •     The Xfinity Rooftop high above right field – features a patio seating, foosball, ping-pong and inside, air-conditioned bar lounge.
  •     The Hank Aaron Terrace in left field – features the ball and bat that Hank Aaron used to hit home run No. 715 to break Babe Ruth’s record.
  •     The Home Depot Clubhouse beyond left-center field is a great group space where guests sit in a treehouse and add the “Ks” to the strikeout board.
  •     The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta “Hope and Will’s Sandlot” is a large, kid- friendly area that features the first-ever zip line and climbing tower inside a professional sporting venue. Visitors use the MLB Ballpark app to reserve a timeslot to access these attractions.

Unique and local, dining, retail and entertainment options also were fully integrated into the ballpark and development:

  •     Terrapin Taproom featuring Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is an on-site brewery for the Athens-born brewing company Terrapin and creates special craft beers, which includes the Chopsecutioner – a brew made with bits of Mizuno bats.
  •     Inside the ballpark, famed Georgia chef Linton Hopkins delights fans with his H&F Burger.
  •     Beyond the gates, restaurant concepts like Achie’s, El Felix, C. Ellet’s, FEED Fried Chicken & Such, Antico Pizza, Goldberg’s Bagel Company, Wahlburgers, Punch Bowl Social, Yard House and more attract hungry fans.
  •     The Coca-Cola Roxy offers nationally known musical acts year-round
  •     The Omni Hotel features more than 250 rooms in the heart of Braves Country, with some overlooking SunTrust Park.
  •     Comcast’s headquarters houses 1,000 employees and its Innovation Lab.
Submitting Organization
Atlanta Braves
Photo Credits
Atlanta Braves
Category Entered
Overall Building Architecture