For almost a half a century, the Braves have called Atlanta home, playing downtown, first at Fulton County Stadium and presently at Turner Field. Built for the 1996 Olympic Games, the Braves moved into Turner Field in 1997. Since that time over a dozen new ballparks have opened in Major League Baseball and the game experience has changed greatly. In November 2013, the Atlanta Braves announced plans to construct a new ballpark North of Atlanta in Cobb County, GA. A 60 acre parcel of land located at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 near the Galleria/Cumberland Mall was purchased to build the facility. Estimated cost is $672 million with the Braves paying most of the cost of building the ballpark. This mixed use development is being built as a year-round destination for fans. Total cost to build the ballpark and develop the surrounding area is estimated to cost $1.1 billion.
The Braves decided to construct a new ballpark due to infrastructure costs need at Turner Field. If a new ballpark were not built, an estimated $200 million in repairs would need to be completed at Turner Field including replacing seats, upgrading lighting, enhancing the fan experience, plumbing and other vital structural improvements. Turner Field also lacks public transportation options and additional parking that is needed. Furthermore, the Braves do not control any development around Turner Field. Site clearing for the ballpark began in July 2014, construction in February 2015 and substantial completion of the ballpark by early 2017. The Braves will play their official first game at SunTrust Park on April 13, 2017 against the San Diego Padres.
In September 2014 the Braves announced their new ballpark would be named SunTrust Park, agreeing to a 25 year deal with SunTrust Bank for naming rights to the stadium. SunTrust Park will have a seating capacity of 41,500 with a higher percentage of seats closer to the field than any other MLB ballpark. It will feature a 90 foot roof atop the structure and air conditioned concourses to keep fans cool during the summer. It will be built into the gently sloping terrain of the site with trees separating parking on the homeplate side of the facility. Most fans will enter through outfield entrances where restaurants and shops will be located as the ballpark is being built as a mixed-use development. A one-acre water feature will be located just south of the outfield stands.