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Atlanta Braves’ move to SunTrust Park a milestone for region

Opening Day of SunTrust Park marks a shift for professional sports in Atlanta.

This Friday, 51 years after their move to Atlanta from Milwaukee, America’s Team becomes the first Atlanta franchise from one of the top pro leagues to make its home outside the city limits.

Of all the corporate relocations the suburbs have taken at the expense of the city, not one is more symbolic than the Braves.

But there will be lasting changes, too.

RELATED: As Braves’ opening day nears, SunTrust Park and The Battery spur optimism

The move is already transforming the area around Cumberland Mall. It will also change the face of the neighborhoods around Turner Field, as Georgia State University and private developers convert the old ballpark into a football stadium and build a node of student housing, apartments and retail.

“I think it is one of the most significant events in Atlanta’s geographic history,” said A.D. Frazier, the former chief operating officer of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, who has witnessed or taken part in more than a few landmark Atlanta moments.

In Sunday’s print edition and on the subscriber website,, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examines how the opening of SunTrust Park is a landmark moment in the story of the region.

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