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SunTrust Park name will change ‘sooner rather than later,’ Braves CEO says

Replacing all of the signage will be a time-consuming project after SunTrust Park is renamed.
Replacing all of the signage will be a time-consuming project after SunTrust Park is renamed.

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

SunTrust Park will get a new name “sooner rather than later,” after the first of the year but before the start of the 2020 baseball season, Braves president and CEO Derek Schiller said.

The new name of the Braves' stadium will reflect SunTrust's merger with BB&T, finalized Monday, and the renaming of the combined bank as Truist.

“There is going to be a date where we are no longer called SunTrust Park and we’re called Truist something,” Schiller said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That date is not finalized, but I definitely think it’s sooner rather than later.”

Asked if the new name will be Truist Park, which would be the simplest change, Schiller said: “You know, we haven’t announced that yet.”

He said the Braves are “working closely” with Truist executives “on the integration of that name into a new ballpark name. We’ve been working together on logos and all kinds of things.

“I would expect we’re going to move fast on announcing those types of things once we get into the new year,” he said.

Although Schiller said the stadium will have a new name before the start of the Braves season, he cautioned it will take longer to remove all vestiges of the original name.

“It’s going to be a rolling process of transforming SunTrust Park into Truist and the new ballpark name,” Schiller said. “… Somewhat similar to how the bank is going to have to transition all their locations, we have roughly 150 signs that have to be changed out -- some of which are what I’d call semi-permanent and some of which are very difficult change-outs, including the top of the main video board, the top of the ballpark itself, the two marquees that are on the highways, the signs on every pedestrian bridge that’s here,” Schiller said.

“There is a whole bunch of signage that is associated with The Battery Atlanta and all throughout there. There is signage above each of the five entrance ways. There is directional signage. You start to build the list; it’s a significant list. It would be impossible and impractical to basically do that in an overnight change-out type of way. It’s going to have to take some time.”

On the day of the formal groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium, the Braves and SunTrust announced a 25-year naming-rights deal, which began with the ballpark's 2017 opening. Truist assumes that deal.

“While we didn’t anticipate that this was going to happen in year three, there was language in the deal that contemplated a (name) change and what we needed to do from both sides to manage this,” Schiller said. “So it’s not out of the realm of what we had thought happens. There have been a lot of venue deals where they’ve had a name change, so we had to plan for that.

“In some respects, I’m happier that it has happened earlier on in the tenure of SunTrust Park than later, because it gives the new brand, the new name, that much longer to be entrenched with this ballpark.”