Like many issues today, the Braves announcement to move to Cobb County got people arguing. Even people who were for the move still make jokes about having to helicopter in over the traffic to get there. But one thing that happens to everyone, is that once they look at the renderings of the project, they all want to go there.
As many of you may now know, this is not just a baseball stadium. This is an entire city with the Braves stadium in it. At Turner Field, no one wanted to hang out outside the stadium. At Suntrust Park, most people I talk to can’t wait to get there early so they can.
The new city is called The Battery Atlanta and is kind of a baseball-styled Avalon. Which is easy for me to say because it was designed by Alpharetta-based Wakefield Beasley & Associates, who master-planned Avalon. In short, The Battery is a brand-new city with five-story, city-block-styled buildings. There is more than 400,000 square feet of retail and office space, Comcast’s new 10-story regional headquarters that looks down into Suntrust Park, more than 550 residences, an Omni hotel and a rebuild of the old Atlanta Roxy theater.
Braves President of Development Mike Plant said the design has caught the attention of teams throughout the league. Many have come for an early tour and he said it’s “making people’s heads spin. They are genuinely amazed at what this now looks like, how it feels and what we’ve built here,” according to a recent article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
This makes Wakefield and Beasley CEO Lamar Wakefield very proud. He himself is a big baseball fan and he couldn’t have been more thrilled to land the project. He is taking everyone at his company who worked on the project and their families to opening day on April 14.
The stadium itself will have plenty of improved dining venues including the 10,000-square-foot Coors Light Chop House, which is a three-story restaurant in right field that will feature outside decks and private event space. The Delta Sky360 Club will be a 15,000-square-foot sports bar sitting up high along the first base line. The 15,000-square-foot Infiniti Club will be a private club on the terrace level offering premium food and drinks. Hope and Will’s Sandlot will be a large kid play zone hosted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and will include a zip line, a climbing tower and other games. Xfinity Rooftop will be a private group space up in right field offering panoramic views of the field and The Battery Atlanta. The stadium is actually 20 percent smaller than Turner Field offering about 41,000 seats. It has far more premium seating than Turner did.
But even before you get to the stadium, or after you leave it, you will have plenty to do. Athens-based Terrapin Beer Co. is opening The Terrapin Taproom. It will feature its own beers as well as the locally famous Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. It will sit adjacent to the ATL Brew Lab, a microbrewery where Terrapin will experiment with different styles of brewing and collaboration efforts.
Other restaurants will include Antico Pizza, Chef Ford Fry’s The El Felix, and a new steakhouse called C. Ellet’s. Actor Mark Wahlberg and his brother Donnie are putting their first Atlanta-based Wahlburgers burger restaurant there. Local chef Hugh Acheson who was made famous from his debut on Top Chef is opening a high-end hot dog restaurant called First & Third Hot Dog and Sausage Shack serving meats from bratwursts to kielbasas.
Food isn’t the only thing to do there. The Roxy seems to be almost up and running too. It’s a 53,000-square-foot venue with capacity for 4,000 people. It looks like its first concert is April 8. The Mizuno Experience Center is a retail store that will showcase Mizuno gear and allow people to test cutting-edge sports technology.
So if you are planning on going to a game – and you know you want to – o there early and plan to stay late.