Chronological Tour: Stop 342

A New Home of the Braves

Home-plate entrance to Gwinnett Stadium, Jul-2009.

The unbalanced roof provides shade for the field as the sun sets.

That matrix board in right field is the only scoreboard in the whole stadium.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
After years of political maneuvering, the Atlanta Braves were unable to make sufficient progress on either a new ballpark in Richmond or significant renovations to The Diamond, their Triple-A home of 24 years. They finally arranged to get a new ballpark built in Gwinnett County, which is two counties and about 35 miles northeast of Turner Field. The new park opened in 2009, on the other side of the I-85 freeway from the Mall of Georgia.

With the exception of the luxury box seating and the premium seats behind home plate, all the seating is in one level, easily accessible from the main concourse, which wraps around the entire field and does have slight changes in elevation to match the contour of the surrounding land (the field is sunken below this level). A two-piece overhang is much longer on the first-base side, and more seats are located on that side, to shelter fans from the setting sun (and keep many of them out of the rain) as well as to shade the infield during evening games.

My biggest complaint about the ballpark is the lack of score displays. There is only one scoreboard in the entire facility, in right-center field, and it is a matrix board rather than a dedicated scoreboard. As such, a matrix malfunction or operator error can remove much of the vital game information from view. At the game I attended, many plays occurred without any display of the ball and strike count or the number of outs.

In terms of facilities, the park is a great improvement over the one in Richmond, and I am sure it will serve the Braves well for years to come. That said, the ticket and concession prices are on the high side, perhaps because the G-Braves figure to capitalize on the park’s proximity to Atlanta and so fans will be willing to pay just a little more than at a typical minor league game. Alas, between the parking fees, the relatively high ticket prices (it was cheaper to get into Turner Field in 2016), and the chronic congestion on I-85, Gwinnett has sunk to the bottom of the attendance list in the International League in short order.

After going through the 2009 season without a naming sponsor, local contractor Coolray Heating and Cooling struck a deal with the G-Braves to put their name on the ballpark starting with the 2010 season. And after nine years bearing the name of their MLB parent, the team rebranded as the Stripers (as in striped bass) for 2018.

Game # Date League Level Result
993 Sun 5-Jul-2009 International AAA Norfolk 7, GWINNETT 1
1508 Thu 1-Sep-2016 International AAA GWINNETT 1, Durham 0, 11 inn
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This page updated 8-Dec-2017