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The Braves release a rendering of their new park. And it’s kinda “meh”

May 14, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

With the caveat that early architectural renderings rarely if ever give us a great sense of what the final product will actually look like and feel like — and with the caveat that the vagueness of early renderings often gives the place an overly-idealized version of the final product — the Atlanta Journal Constitution gives us early architectural renderings of the new Braves park:

More pics here.

Kudos for what appears to be greater shade/sun-protection measures in those big panels up top. Demerits for what appears to be four or five distinct decks. The Braves are saying the park will hold only 41,500 people which is not crazy, but it does seem a tad overbuilt. If the idea is to have fewer rows in each section, OK, but in the post-pillar age, every row up means going back a little bit, so I wonder how groundbreaking this really is. I guess we won’t know until we can sit in the actual seats up high.

My bigger observation is that t just looks kinda generic. Is there new room for something — anything — that looks architecturally inspired as opposed to merely functional? The Braves are owned by a big corporation and these renderings look like the profit of a bunch of meetings in which everyone fought hard not to offend anyone else. Nothing is going to please everyone, but something bold would be neat. Not that Braves have ever gone for anything particularly bold.

Obviously things could change, but this is sorta underwhelming, even if it’ll almost certainly be a fine place to watch a ballgame.

  1. Ryan Brister - May 14, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Yep, that’s a baseball stadium.

  2. nagrommit - May 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    I like how the renderings show the place half-empty, like the current Turner Field.

    • thesixersbench - May 14, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Ah….beat me to it. Well played.

  3. nicofthenorthstar - May 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Oh good. More tax dollars handed over to billionaires.

    • paperlions - May 14, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Well, let’s face facts. They were going to get it anyway. This is just a lot more efficient than the normal governmental mechanisms for funneling wealth from the poor to the rich….and I like efficiency in my government.

      • clydeserra - May 14, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        isn’t it taking money from the middle class, since its in a middle class county?

      • paperlions - May 14, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Sure. I meant poor in a relative context….as in, compared to the people they are gifting their tax dollars to….they are poor.

  4. nolanwiffle - May 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    You were expecting a giant tepee in the centerfield bleachers?

    • hcf95688 - May 14, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Bring back Noc-a-Homa!

  5. echech88 - May 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    A little sterile but isn’t that what all the Populous stadiums have looked like the past 10 years? Leaving location out of it, stadiums like Petco/Nationals Park/Target Field and now this Braves park all have an extremely generic, plastic, soul-less feel to them.

    Great places to watch baseball and they nail the must-have stuff like big concourses and comfy lounges but not much in the way of character or iconic structures like PNC/AT&T etc.

    • jashton11 - May 14, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      Populous also designed Marlins Park. And while a lot of words can be used to describe that stadium, “generic” sure isn’t one of them.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 14, 2014 at 12:30 PM

        Nationals Park looks a bit generic from most TV angles, but there is actually some cool design work going on with it in places. Same with Comerica.

      • pelumaad - May 14, 2014 at 5:11 PM

        The strange thing about Marlins Park is that while it isn’t a football stadium like the one the Marlins used to play in, it still is way big and most seats feel far from the action. But then I grew up with Connie Mack Stadium and Sunday doubleheaders……real baseball.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 14, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Petco is gorgeous and has a ton of soul.

    • daveitsgood - May 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      I’ll give you Nationals/Target field, but Petco is pretty nice and has the Western Mental Supply Co. building integrated in and it’s in San Diego where you never need a jacket or anything other than shorts for any night game throughout the season and as someone else mentioned, they designed Marlins Park. But yes, their latest stadiums seemed to be found lacking when compared to their run from 92 – 2004 where they designed Camden, Coors. Minutemaid, AT&T, PNC and GAB. But hey, everyone runs into slumps from time to time. I’m sure they’ll get their game back with the next new stadium, I hear the A’s need one.

  6. commonsenseisnotcmonman - May 14, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Well they let Chipper design the first one. It was pretty cool had a Hooters out in CF and a fire pit near some trees in far RF.

    • paperlions - May 14, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      …and some dirt ramps to jump 4-wheelers off of on the warning track.

    • thesixersbench - May 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Wow…second-level comment. That’s some damn good work on your part.

  7. jrob23 - May 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    It’s different in that there are more seats in prime viewing areas i.e. behind home plate and along the lines than most parks. Not seeing what it looks like from those seats (outfield and beyond) from the renderings doesn’t help. Either way, another hyperbole click baiting headline from yours truly

    • emdash01 - May 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      ‘Yours truly’ would mean the headline was written by you…

    • bitlrc - May 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      The headline says it’s “Kinda ‘Meh.'” I don’t know if that counts as hyperbole. In fact, I’d argue that’s about as far from hyperbole as you can get.

      Also “yours truly?” Surprising that you would come on a message board to be critical of an article that you wrote

  8. 18thstreet - May 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Here’s how much parking a 40,000 seat stadium without public transit requires.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0287266,-87.9709477,1568m/data=!3m1!1e3

    The drawings are a lie. The parking will go somewhere, and it will be close to the park. There will be no trees. There will be no cool mixed-use/entertainment district on the outside of the outfield walls.

    There will be parking, and lots of it. And it will be hideous.

    • itinerantpedant - May 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      To be fair to Miller Park, tailgating is practically a religion to Wisconsinites. In many ways, the parking area IS the point. (What that photo doesn’t show is the roughly 80 gazillion metal drums around the lots for the disposal of charcoal).

      But your pic is spot on accurate. In fact, that ISN’T a 40,000 seat stadium’s worth of parking, given that a lot of folks park at the veteran’s affairs lot (at the bottom of the photo) or at State Fair Park (well off to the left)

      • dcarroll73 - May 14, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Those metal drums for disposal of charcoal are critical. I was at a Mets game once when the crowd noticed a fire out in the parking lot. They don’t exactly encourage tailgating in NYC. Apparently someone had left a little grill a bit too close to their Mercedes, and it caught fire. The crowd, in a sort of “Blows Against the Empire” moment in the class war, started cheering. Down let it bring you down; it’s only castles burning.

    • moogro - May 14, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      I like how you are latching onto this issue, 18thstreet, and you are so right. There was some pretty speculative aspects in the drawings that sold Target field that never materialized either. Utopic drawings are used when someone is being conned, actual-build drawings are used when money is in hand.

      • 18thstreet - May 14, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        Thanks. It’s safer to assume that professional sports teams are lying than to assume they’re telling the truth. I feel the same about tobacco companies.

  9. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    I think we can all agree that the Skydome in Toronto is the worst.

    That one is for you Harry

    • ezthinking - May 14, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      You must have forgotten about the Trop.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        Oh God that’s right

    • mazblast - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      Some would give that honor to New Comiskey/The Cell in Chicago. My vote goes to the Great American Small Park in Cincinnati, a park built on a too-small piece of real estate that faces the wrong way, is difficult to navigate, has a Little League dimensioned playing field, provides few clues as to where the rest rooms are, and serves as a sinkhole for humidity in the summer.

      The only good things I’ll say for the place are that they’ve started serving some decent beers, and that they got rid of the former KGB-trained ushers and replaced them with actual human beings who understand that there’s no harm in letting the peasants sit in unoccupied better seats late in games.

  10. schmedley69 - May 14, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Since the stadium will be in Cobb County, I sure hope that they do something to honor Cobb County’s favorite son, The Big Bossman.

  11. nsauser - May 14, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    As a Braves fan in another state I wonder, are the people of Georgia as excited for this new stadium as the Braves are? Again, from a distance, it seems as though the Braves have a very myopic view of this new stadium. People seem to be very apathetic and yet the Braves keep trodding out unnecessary PR pieces.

  12. bravojawja - May 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Looks like fans will enjoy a lovely view of the mall. That’s about right for a stadium in Cobb County.

  13. tfilarski - May 14, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    What did you want? A roller coaster in left field? It is refreshing to see a new ball park get away from trying to be a carinval

  14. JB (the original) - May 14, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    At 1st glance, I thought, ah, another cookie-cutter park designed by HOK, pretty much just like Target Field and the Nat’s park, but then I noticed that it IS another cookie-cutter park out of their existing designs, as HOK changed their name to Populus in 2009…..

    • mazblast - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      It’s as if they took their base design and didn’t give it any distinguishing features other than the “A” on that thing in the outfield.

  15. Joe Vecchio - May 15, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    So that’s what the future Lester Maddox Field will look like, eh? I wonder, which decks will be “colored only”? Assuming any of “those people” will be able to attend, anyway. When will Ax Handle Day be?

  16. mazblast - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    If they keep reducing the capacity, perhaps some day the Braves will be able to sell out home playoff games. Well, at least those played on weekend evenings.

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