A notable project is on tap at Truist Park (the former SunTrust Park), as the Atlanta Braves will replace grass on the ballpark’s playing surface ahead of Opening Day in early April.
At some point prior to the Braves’ home opener on April 3, the club will install new sod at Truist Park. The sod installed will be paspalum, the same type of grass that has been used on the playing surface since the ballpark’s 2017 opening.
Currently the playing surface is showing some signs of wear and tear after the ballpark was used last month for a Big Air event. Braves officials say that there was no unexpected damaged caused by the event, and the team has been planning all along to install new sod before the 2020 season. Work on the project has not begun yet, but it is expected that the sod replacement will be completed well ahead of Opening Day. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“We’ll begin that, call it, sometime in March … so that it looks perfect for our first game April 3rd,” Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller said.
The Braves’ usually picturesque field looks far from perfect right now. Parts of it look barren or beaten-down, showing the aftereffect of the 800 tons of manufactured snow and the 15-story-tall steel ski-jump structure that were placed on the field for a “Big Air” skiing and snowboarding event last month.
“We fully expected the grass to be the way it is,” Schiller said. “Since we’re not having to play baseball games in January or February, we’re not replacing it yet, and it looks the way it does.”
While the Big Air event took its toll on the field, no unexpected damage was caused, Schiller said. The Braves replaced the sod before their second and third seasons at the stadium in 2018 and 2019 and intended all along to replace it again before the 2020 season, he said. The same type of grass, paspalum, will be used.
The Braves will face the Miami Marlins in their home opener, following a seven-game road trip that begins March 26 and includes stops in Arizona and San Diego.
In December, a merger between ballpark naming-rights partner SunTrust and BB&T was finalized, with the merged bank named Truist. The renaming of SunTrust Park to Truist Park was announced last week, representing the continuation of the naming-rights partnership with the Braves that was first announced in 2014.
Rendering, issued to depict Truist Park branding, courtesy Atlanta Braves.