James.qxp Sept Oct 2018 web (2) - Page 38



I
t was in April 2017 when SunTrust Park—
the new home of the Atlanta Braves— and
The Battery Atlanta opened their doors.
More than 2.5 million baseball fans attended games,
an increase of 500,000 fans over 2016 attendance.
The Braves move to Cobb County was driven
primarily by the team’s goal to move closer to its
fan base, most of whom live north of Interstate285. Another key factor was team’s desire to control real estate around a new ballpark, and the
opportunity to attract new residents, retail and
restaurant businesses, and corporate offices.
Their plan is working. Thyssenkrupp Elevator
Americas, one of the world’s largest elevator companies, recently announced it will lease 150,000
square feet in a new 300,000-square-foot office
building constructed by the Braves Development
Company. The building will house more
than 900 full-time employees in jobs that
will have an average wage of $100,000
annually. The company is also leasing land in The
Battery and will construct a 140,000-square-foot,
$100-million laboratory and conference center. Its
420-foot high innovation tower will also house
new special event space.
Total investment by the Braves Development
Company and Thyssenkrupp is estimated at $240
million.
The Braves aren’t the only sports franchise
that has combined a new home with an opportunity to enhance revenues— which can help
improve a franchise overall. The Pittsburg
Penguins hockey franchise, which occupied Civic
Arena for 43 seasons, struck a deal to build Consol
Energy Center. It kept the franchise in Pittsburgh,
while acquiring development rights to the site of
their old facility where
Fans in The Battery
Atlanta await the
beginning of an
Atlanta Braves game.
continued on page 41
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
39

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