Coolray Field

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Coolray Field
Coolray Field.PNG
Location 2500 Buford Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Coordinates 34°2′29.38″N 83°59′32.52″W / 34.0414944°N 83.9923667°W / 34.0414944; -83.9923667Coordinates: 34°2′29.38″N 83°59′32.52″W / 34.0414944°N 83.9923667°W / 34.0414944; -83.9923667
Broke ground June 3, 2008[1]
Opened April 17, 2009
Owner Gwinnett County[2]
Operator Gwinnett County[2]
Surface Grass
Construction cost $64 million
($70.4 million in 2014 dollars[3])
Architect HKS, Inc.[2]
Structural engineer Bliss and Nyitray, Inc.
Services engineer Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.
General contractor Barton Malow Co.[2]
Capacity 10,427
Field size LF - 335 feet (102 m)
CF - 400 feet (120 m)
RF - 335 feet (102 m)
Tenants
Gwinnett Braves (IL) (2009–present)

Coolray Field (formerly known as Gwinnett Stadium) is a 10,427-seat minor league baseball park in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It is the home field of the Gwinnett Braves, the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

History[edit]

Coolray Field hosted its first regular season baseball game on April 17, 2009, a 7–4 loss to the Norfolk Tides.[4] The stadium site is located approximately two miles (3 km) east of the Mall of Georgia along Georgia 20, between Interstate 85 and Georgia 316.

The 44-acre (18 ha) site was previously farmland and forest. An additional 73 acres (0.30 km2) of mostly forest around it became a mixed-use project, after a February 2009 rezoning by the Gwinnett County Commission.[5] Naming rights are held by Coolray, an air conditioning and plumbing company based in nearby Marietta.

The stadium construction and maintenance is being paid by the taxpayer-funded Gwinnett County government, but the Braves will keep most of the revenue from ticket and concession stand sales. The municipal bonds used to pay for the stadium run for 30 years (until 2038), but the Braves have an option to back out of the contract after only half of that time (in 2023), if the county does not maintain the facility at an acceptable level. This would leave county taxpayers responsible for the remainder. Although this relationship between the Braves and Gwinnett County appears unbalanced, the sales tax revenue that the county will bring in from the sales at the stadium will allegedly benefit the county more than the cost of the stadium.[6]

After the first season, it was revealed that parking revenue was a fraction (about 15%) of what was expected.[7]

The Gwinnett Braves were previously the Richmond Braves for 43 seasons (1966–2008) before returning to Georgia in 2009; the team was the Atlanta Crackers for its first 65 seasons (1901–1965).

Features[edit]

Coolray Field features 19 luxury suites, a 30-foot-by-40-foot video board in right-center field, a 6-foot-by-42-foot LED board along the left-field wall and chairback seating complete with cupholders.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knight, Graham (May 1, 2009). "Coolray Field". Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Manahan, Theresa (April 19, 2009). "Minor League Stadiums". SportsBusiness Journal. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Beitzel, Ben (April 18, 2009). "G-Braves' Loss Can't Ruin New Team's Home Opener". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ Ward, Jamie (February 4, 2009). "BOC Approves Rezoning Near Stadium". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  6. ^ Kass, Arielle (April 2, 2008). "Contract Bringing Braves AAA Farm Team to Gwinnett Signed Tuesday". Gwinnett Daily Post. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ Fox, Patrick (November 6, 2009). "Gwinnett Braves Parking Revenue Falls Short of County Expectations". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on November 8, 2009. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  8. ^ "2012 Gwinnett Braves Digital Media Guide". Gwinnett Braves. April 5, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012. 

External links[edit]