The Atlanta Braves might soon play in a renamed ballpark, as a merger of financial institutions SunTrust and BB&T could result in a rebranding of SunTrust Park.
The Winston-Salem-based BB&T Corp. has acquired Atlanta-based SunTrust, with plans to merge the companies under a central identity. That name has not been announced yet, but it will likely have implications on the identity of SunTrust Park–home of the Braves for the past two seasons, and our 2017 Ballpark of the Year.
A name change for SunTrust Park has not been announced, but all signs point to the merged companies maintaining a strong relationship with the Braves. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The $66 billion acquisition of SunTrust by BB&T Corp. means the two huge banks will be merged into one company under a new name, which has yet to be decided, officials said Thursday. It will be headquartered in Charlotte.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has previously reported that the current, 25-year pact between the team and SunTrust calls for the bank to pay $10 million a year for the right to place its name on and inside the ballpark.
While not specifically addressing if or how that agreement might change, William Rogers, SunTrust’s chief executive, said the merged bank wants to continue its relationship with the Braves. BB&T currently has naming rights to a number of sports arenas.
Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall did not return calls from the AJC requesting comment.
The naming-rights partnership between the Braves and SunTrust was first announced in 2014. Notably, BB&T itself has been a major player in sports facility naming rights, including various ballparks around affiliated minor league and independent baseball. That includes the BB&T Ballpark moniker used for the homes of the Winston-Salem Dash (High A; Carolina League) and Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League), BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field for the Williamsport Crosscutters (Short Season A; NY-Penn League), and the High Point Rockers’ (independent; Atlantic League) upcoming BB&T Point, which will host its first game on May 2.