(From Sports Business Journal, November 18, 2013) The Atlanta Braves are beginning the process of building a new stadium in Cobb County. One reason they want to do this is to create more mixed-use developments around the ballpark. They have seen what other ball clubs have been doing with their stadiums, and they want to make the same types of changes.
These mixed-use developments have been sprouting up in various stadiums. Examples include the St. Louis Cardinals’ Ballpark Village, the San Francisco Giants’ Mission Rock Development, and the Washington Nationals’ real estate developments. The reason teams are doing this is because mixed-use developments can add more money not subject to league revenue sharing, and it can create a daylong experience for fans attending the games. Since these projects take a substantial amount of time to develop, the Braves want to make sure they have the right plan in place when building their new stadium. As of right now they are focusing on operating the stadium itself first before they integrate the mixed use developments into their business plans.
The new stadium has an estimated total cost of $672 million with costs including new land and infrastructure improvements. They are planning to have 8,000 fewer seats than their previous stadium in order to have more intimate views and unique spaces. When the stadium first opened, it had 63 suites. The Braves are planning to lower this amount to between 30 to 40 suites which is among the lowest number of skyboxes in all of the MLB parks. They want ten percent of the new stadium’s total seating to be in premium locations. In regards to parking there are already 30,000 parking spaces within walking distance of the new location, but they plan to add even more as they develop the stadium. They also plan to devote up to 1 million square feet to office, retail, hotel, and residential development along with the new stadium.
The Braves have a long process ahead of them in developing a new stadium, but they are taking the time to plan ahead to make sure the project goes smoothly and earns strong profits.