So I’m perusing the Gwinnett Braves Web site last night and notice a jokey story about a wayward zebra heading to Coolray Field. Strangely, I get the zebra gag, but where is this Coolray Field?
Turns out I missed the news from late last week that the Atlanta Braves signed a multi-million dollar deal with Marietta’s Coolray Heating and Cooling for naming rights to the Gwinnett ballpark in Lawrenceville. That means Gwinnett Braves Stadium becomes Coolray Field.
(For the record, last we knew, the zebra was safely under the care of UGA veterinarians in Athens. Maybe there was a stop in Lawrenceville on the way.)
The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but based on the numbers available, it “puts the deal in the neighborhood of $10 million.” From AJCer Patrick Fox’s story:
“It’s probably one of the top five or so minor league sports deals that has been done in the past six years,” said Preston Williams, managing director for the Gwinnett County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which operates the ballpark. “It didn’t just happen overnight. It’s something they’ve been working on for a while.”
I’m sure it’s nice to have that money rolling in, but it shouldn’t change visitor experience much — mostly the signage: Coolray will have a sign at the ballpark entrance, an LED marquee on Ga. 20 and a sign on top the right field scoreboard. The team and stadium had a solid first year — I know I enjoyed it — and you can check out the changes for yourself the home opener on April 8.
Tell me in the poll or in the comments: What do you think of the name change? It’s only been a year since the park opened, but will you be able to think of it as Coolray Field instead of Gwinnett Braves Stadium?
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