Add the Denver Broncos to the long list of sports teams with interest in creating something similar to what the Braves have built around SunTrust Park.
The Broncos last week unveiled a vision of a mixed-use development on what are now surface parking lots south of their stadium. They envision a live-work-play development that would enhance fans’ game-day experience.
The Braves won’t be surprised by that news.
“We’ve had a hundred teams come in here” to look at The Battery Atlanta, the mixed-use development adjacent to SunTrust Park, Braves Development Co. President and CEO Mike Plant said Tuesday. “It’s worn a lot of us out a little bit.”
He said the visitors have included representatives of teams from the “NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, soccer, college, Australia, Germany, Spain, all the teams from Japan.”
“Because this is the future,” Plant said. “People see what this can do to support their fans and create that 365-day environment.”
Teams, including the Braves, also see it as a significant new revenue stream.
When the Braves open their season Thursday, about 70 percent of The Battery’s first phase will be open, up from 30 percent at the start of last season, Plant said.
Two-dozen shops and restaurants are open, with seven more scheduled to debut early in the season. The Omni Hotel and Comcast office building are open. About 80 percent of the development’s 531 apartments are rented, Plant said.
The Braves are getting close to announcing plans for “phase two” of The Battery, he added. That will be built on two parcels of land the Braves own along Cobb Parkway and next to the Hampton Inn on Circle 75 Parkway.
READ ON …
> It’s not yet time for the Braves to increase their player payroll, Terry McGuirk says. But the Braves’ chairman vows that time will come. See story here.
> Eleven years after Liberty Media bought the Braves, much longer than most observers expected the Colorado-based company to hold the team, McGuirk sees no change looming in the team’s ownership. See story here.
> Here’s a rundown of what’s new for Year 2 in and around SunTrust Park.