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Topping-Out Milestone at SunTrust Park

SunTrust Park

Big construction milestone today on SunTrust Park construction: the Atlanta Braves and crew formally celebrated a “topping-off” ceremony when the last — and top — beam was raised and installed in the ballpark.

Per tradition, the 33-foot-long, 1,422-pound beam was raised with a tree and an American flag. But in departing from tradition, the beam was raised with an ash tree, not the traditional evergreen. Why the substitution? Because ash is a traditional material in the construction of bats.

As mentioned, the Braves held a ceremony to mark the project’s topping-off point, led by Braves chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“I’m happy to report construction is on time and on budget,” said McGuirk, declaring again that the stadium and much of the adjacent mixed-use development will be open for the start of the 2017 season…..

Already in place are the SunTrust Park sign atop the center-field video board, prominent signs for sponsors Coca-Cola and Delta, even pennants hanging from a right-field light pole. And there are 6,800 tons — or 13.6 million pounds — of structural steel, which McGuirk said “would be 50 miles long” if placed end to end.

The ceremonial final beam, which ultimately will support stadium lights, was signed by McGuirk, other team executives and dignitaries before it was hoisted to the top of the ballpark.

The big takeaway, really: ballpark construction is on time. The Braves are talking about a December move into the ballpark in anticipation of the 2017 opening.

Renderings courtesy Atlanta Braves.

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