By Tim Newcomb
May 14, 2014

The Atlanta Braves want you to know that the planned Cobb County Stadium will be much more than a baseball venue. Fresh design concepts released today show just how the new stadium will act as a showpiece of the Braves’ own little city just northwest of Atlanta.

The first real designs of the stadium itself were released on Wednesday, showing a 41,500-seat venue with four seating decks and a 90-foot roof—three times the size of the current Turner Field roof—planned for an April 2017 opening. The ballpark stands as one piece, albeit an expensive one, to anchor development, as the $672 million stadium will integrate with a $400 million addition that will include 500 residences, office space, roads, green space, plenty of shopping and a hotel to overlook it all.

Braves president John Schuerholz said in a news release that these initial drawings stand as an “early look at how our vision is shaping up,” and even though the team is months away from polished final plans, Atlanta is “pleased with the progress.”

As for design features, Cobb County Stadium doesn’t boast too much in the way of interior personality, at least just yet (polished renderings may include more quirkiness). Atlanta’s Chophouse restaurant will make a repeat appearance, however, located in deep rightfield with views both of the playing field and the main plaza outside the front gate.

Beyond the stadium's walls, there will be a small park surrounding a one-acre water feature that has fountains to shoot off after home runs and wins. The mixed-use development will stay open year-round, but interior streets may close on game days. The site’s main plaza ties the stadium to the development, offering a gameday gathering point and options for street festivals and other community events throughout the year. The plaza will also include baseball “monuments” and flags.

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

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