The Atlanta Braves today released half a dozen conceptual renderings, offering the first look at the team's new ball park and facility.
"This is a very early look at how our vision is shaping up and, even though we are still months away from final plans and drawings, we are very pleased with the progress," Braves president John Schuerholz said in a release from the club. "The renderings represent the sense of place we intend to create 365 days a year in addition to a world-class ballpark."
The facility will offer shopping, dining and entertainment options as well as living, office and hotel space.
The Braves also announced a plan to current non-season ticket holders interested in buying ticket plans at the new park. Go to www.braves.com/newballpark for more details.
Both the ballpark and mixed-use development are slated to open in April 2017.
The Atlanta Braves' new stadium and mixed-use development will add more than 20,000 vehicles to the already congested Cumberland Mall area on game days, according to an author of a traffic study for the team.
The study suggests the project would worsen traffic at the majority of intersections in the area.
The report was issued Tuesday to regional planning agencies, which must sign off on all large developments of regional impact. The traffic study is a major component of that evaluation.
Traffic congestion in the Cumberland area has been a problem for years, and many residents are concerned about the impact of the project. The Braves announced in November their intention to move to Cobb into a new $622 million stadium for the 2017 season.
Some questions remain unanswered about the report and its traffic projections. The Braves declined an interview, the traffic study's author answered limited questions by email and Cobb County officials, who received the study Tuesday afternoon, said they needed to read it before commenting.
A one-page overview of the study, provided by the Braves, says the team's entertainment district next to the ballpark will soften the impact of the stadium's traffic congestion because residents, workers and hotel guests already at the site will walk to the game or restaurants.
And the report says there are other benefits to having bars and restaurants on the stadium site.
"... The presence of retail and restaurant establishments on-site will encourage game patrons to arrive early to the game for dinner or stay late after the game," according to the report.
The final phase of the planned $400 million entertainment district won't be fully completed until 2019 - or two years after the stadium is scheduled to open.
Some of the road improvements identified in the report have not been previously identified, and it says funding for them will be determined later. The report mentions the so-called Bus Rapid Transit, a nearly half-billion dollar system that would link Kennesaw to Midtown. But it is unclear if BRT is factored into the traffic study.
A consultant recently told the Cobb commission that taxpayers would have to come up with an estimated $100 million to pay for the system. There's another $152 million needed from as-yet unidentified sources.
The consultant hired to advise Cobb on rapid transit is the same company that performed the Braves traffic analysis: Kimley-Horn and Associates.
The plethora of entry points and dispersed parking will provide planners with the chance to provide more efficient traffic flow before and after games, the fact sheet says.
The Braves also provided other updates to regional planners about the project's impact. For example, it says that the project will require the use of 1.2 million gallons of water per day, and will generate 1 million gallons of daily sewage. It asserts that Cobb's water system can handle the demand.