Chick-fil-A cow leaving Turner Field one year early

The Braves have 81 regular-season games left to play at Turner Field, but one resident will leave The Ted for SunTrust Park ahead of everyone else: the Chick-fil-A cow that has towered above left field since 2008.

The 40-foot-tall cow — a prominent part of the Atlanta-area Chick-fil-A franchisees’ campaign to urge people to eat more chicken rather than beef — will be removed from Turner Field by crane Saturday and trucked to a New Orleans studio for refurbishing.

Then the cow will be re-installed above right-center field in SunTrust Park next month, about a year before the new stadium opens.

The early installation of the 18,000-pound cow at the Cobb County stadium is necessary to coordinate with construction schedules while the large cranes needed for the installation can still be placed in what will become the outfield and seating bowl, Braves executive vice president of sales and marketing Derek Schiller said Wednesday.

The fiberglass-and-steel cow will be attached to a light tower to the right of the main video board, Schiller said, with an approximate installation date of April 11.

But first, the Braves-cap wearing cow is “going to go away and get some upgrades and enhancements,” Schiller said.

The cow will get a new digital signboard, rather than its current painted placard, as part of the refurbishment at Kern Studios, the New Orleans company that built the Turner Field cow eight years ago and is best known for creating Mardi Gras floats. The arm that has done a slow version of the tomahawk chop at Turner Field won’t move after the makeover. The refurbishment will require 40 gallons of paint and a team of 20 workers.

The Chick-fil-A cow’s move to SunTrust Park is part of an extension of the Braves’ long-time partnership deal with the Atlanta-based chicken restaurant chain. The partnership will include customized concessions stands selling Chick-fil-A products in the new stadium, Schiller said.

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