With the start of the 2014 MLB season, I realize stadium talk is probably not high on your list of priorities. That said, I also realize it’s been awhile since we provided fans with an update on the planned new Braves’ stadium in Cobb County, so I thought I would remedy that this evening.
You’ve been living under home plate if you haven’t heard the news that the Atlanta Braves plan to build a new stadium in Cobb County, to be completed by opening day of the 2017 season. If you haven’t heard that, I’ll first shake my head, then I’ll point you to the Home Of The Braves website where you can read about it until your heart is content.
The latest news came from an article by Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, reporting on how the Unique challenge of Braves stadium excites architect. The Kansas City firm Populous has been retained by the Atlanta Braves as the architects for the planned stadium project, and Tim reported that they are excited about the challenges of the project – chief among them are building the stadium in a natural bowl, in a forested location, as a simultaneous mixed use development project, and having the exterior of the stadium be transparent in some way.
While Populous won’t be the architects working on the mixed used development side of the whole project, they will be designing the stadium, and are charged with seeing that there is a cohesive, flowing effect to both projects on the whole, and that as fans walk from the various restaurants, shops, etc., to the stadium itself, the affect should be as seamless as possible. That won’t be easy!
The transparent look to the new stadium is the latest news, and while how Populous will do that is still yet to be determined, it’s certainly an interesting concept, and one that I don’t personally like!. I prefer the old-school brick look of ballparks, and this one is sounding more and more like a new-fangled futuristic designer park, the kind of park that makes me cringe from at least an aesthetic perspective.
In fact, while it’s just an artist’s rendering so far, when you visit The Home of the Braves website, the opening sketch that shows the the mixed community view of the shops, restaurants, etc., with people milling about, also shows the stadium in the background (We’ve posted that pic in this article up top for your convenience). If you look closely, or click on the pic to see a larger size, it does appear somewhat transparent, and (gulp) quite new-fangled and fancy. Oh well, hopefully the team won’t be in 2017!
In addition to Populous doing the Stadium Architecture, Jones Lang LaSalle are doing the project management work (very familiar with them, as they do the properties management across the whole U.S. footprint for my employer), and Jerde is doing the master land planning work. I have to admit that Populous certainly has a TON of experience with stadium projects. Just visit their website with any link I’ve provide in this post, and you’ll be amazed at how many notable architectural projects they’ve headed.
The Ballpark Factor
Here’s a video from MLB highlighting the Ballpark Factor, and the work of Populous
Three years will pass in the blink of an eye, and before we know it, we’ll all have a chance to visit the park, and see for ourselves if the Atlanta Braves’ vision for this new stadium will be one we like, one we hate, or one we at least tolerate. Yeah, I know – in the end it’s just about the baseball, but since I attend so many games, I think of Turner Field pretty much like a home. I don’t lay my Braves cap there, but when I wear it, it sure feels like home. My hope is the new stadium will give me that same sentimental, warm, and fuzzy feeling inside.
When we don’t hear news day-in, day-out about the stadium, sometimes we forget that all this bumping along each day like a square wheel, churning in the background toward that inexorable April of 2017! Don’t let it sneak up on you folks. Stay informed, visit The Home of the Braves often, and find out the latest. But Hey! (as Uncle Si would say) If you forget to keep yourselves informed, we’ll try to do a good job for you. Go Braves!