Atlanta Braves released new drawings of their 41,500-seater ballpark which they plan to move into by the start of the 2017 season.
The three-tier stadium project was announced in a statement from Braves chairman Terry McGuirk and aims to give the “ultimate fan experience” by getting the seats closer to the action.
The Braves’ current home is Turner Field which was originally built for the 1996 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games with a capacity of 85,000 and cost $209 million to build.
Immediately after the games the North Stand was taken down and the stadium was remodelled for the Braves to move in for the start of the 1997 season. Atlanta’s first game at Turner Field was their home opener on April 4 1997 when the Braves fell to a 5-4 defeat against the Chicago Cubs.
The reasons for the Braves wanting to move away from Turner Field are unclear as of yet, but fans have complained about traffic problems when trying to get to and from the ballpark.
Building for the future
According to MLB.com, the beginning of the building work for the new home of the Braves will be streamed live on braves.com on Tuesday 16th September at 11a.m. ET. The live streaming service will enable fans to see the construction in action and what is planned over the two-and-a-half years it will take to complete.
The Braves statement explained the ballpark will have a three-tier design with the top two ‘decks’ over-hanging the ground seats. This design helps the middle and upper tier seats get closer to the action compared to traditional ballpark structures, such as Fenway Park.
The stadium, which is yet to be named, is expected to take two-and-a-half years to build and is scheduled to be officially opened in April 2017 – in time for the Braves home season opener.
“This new ballpark will be a world-class venue that will give Braves Country the ultimate fan experience, both inside the park and out," team chairman Terry McGuirk said in statement.
In addition to the new design the stadium will have an extensive canopy to provide shelter as well as indoor halls and wider concourses.
The project is also expected to be used for multiple purposes within the Atlanta community and will include shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities open all year-round.