Coolray Field

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Coolray Field
Coolray Field.png
Coolray Field 2009.jpg
Location2500 Buford Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Coordinates34°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
Public transitBus interchange Gwinnett County Transit
No direct bus route connection
OwnerGwinnett County[1]
OperatorGwinnett County[1]
Capacity10,427 (baseball)
7,362 (soccer)
Field sizeLF – 335 feet (102 m)
CF – 400 feet (120 m)
RF – 335 feet (102 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundJune 3, 2008[2]
OpenedApril 17, 2009
Construction cost$64 million
($73 million in 2017 dollars[3])
ArchitectHKS, Inc.[1]
Structural engineerBliss & Nyitray, Inc
Services engineerSmith Seckman Reid, Inc.
General contractorBarton Malow Co.[1]
Tenants
Gwinnett Stripers (IL) (2009–present)
Atlanta United 2 (USL) (2018–present)

Coolray Field (formerly known as Gwinnett Stadium) is a 10,427-seat minor league baseball park in unincorporated Gwinnett County, Georgia (with a mailing address in Lawrenceville). It is the home field of the Gwinnett Stripers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta United 2, the United Soccer League affiliate of Atlanta United FC.

History[edit]

Coolray Field hosted its first regular season baseball game on April 17, 2009, a 7–4 Gwinnett Braves 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 Stripers 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 Stripers 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.[6]

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

The Gwinnett Braves (renamed to the Stripers in 2017) moved to the stadium in 2009 when the Atlanta Braves moved their affiliate, the Richmond Braves, after 43 seasons (1966–2008) in Richmond, Virginia. They are located 35 miles northeast of their parent club's stadium, SunTrust Park in unincorporated Cobb County—the second-shortest distance between a Triple-A team and its major league parent (behind only the Pacific Coast League's Tacoma Rainiers, based 26 miles south of Seattle). They have held this distinction since moving to Gwinnett County; the Braves played at Turner Field in Atlanta at the time.

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. ^ a b c d Manahan, Theresa (April 19, 2009). "Minor League Stadiums". SportsBusiness Journal. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  2. ^ Knight, Graham (May 1, 2009). "Coolray Field". Baseball Pilgrimages. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  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" (PDF). Gwinnett Braves. April 5, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012.

External links[edit]