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The untold stories of SunTrust Park: The people most affected by the Braves move to Cobb County

<p><span style="font-size: 12px;">These are the stories that have not been told until now</span></p>

Alec McQuade

Published: 4/13/2017 1:25:33 PM
Updated: 1:26 PM EDT April 13, 2017

It was a cool, crisp fall morning in Atlanta.

Baseball season had concluded just 12 days prior with the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series.

The Atlanta Braves had come up short in the postseason, losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games in the NLDS. The long offseason had just begun, and the Braves weren't at the forefront of anyone's mind when Nov. 11, 2013 began. By afternoon, the Braves were one of the biggest stories nationwide.

A video emerged:

"Today, I would like to announce that the Atlanta Braves would like to build a new ballpark, which will open in time for the 2017 baseball season. The new location is a short distance from Downtown Atlanta, at the intersection of I-75 and I-285," then-Team President and Hall of Famer John Schuerholzer said.

You know the rest.

First came the initial shock. The Braves said hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations were needed to stay at Turner. They showed a map of fans and where they were located. The stadium would be in a prime location for them. Fans from the south side of the city were upset. Traffic became the main concern. Oh, the traffic. Under-the-table deals were made, re-elections lost, jobs changed, parking battles waged on...you know these stories.

Now, the stadium is complete. SunTrust Park is about to open its doors with its first event on Mar. 31, an exhibition game against the New York Yankees. Then, on April 14, its true Opening Day, with a sell-out crowd of 41,000 on hand to witness the beginning of a new era.

It's been a long three and a half years since Schuerholz sat in front of the camera and first talked about concepts of a "mixed-use development," now known as The Battery Atlanta, and a location that would be in "the heart of Braves Country." The cost of the entire project made its way up to $1.1 billion.

But along the way, there are stories that have not been told, until now.

There's the story of the the first game of catch by a boy and his dad's friend in a stadium only half complete, and the story of a general manager tasked with trying to build a competitive team in time for the new stadium after years of disappointment. There are the stories of the Braves players and manager, who have their own feelings about Turner Field, the move to Cobb County and how it affects them. There's the 9 to 5 worker who works across the street from SunTrust Park, who has witnessed the stadium's construction from day one and has sat through days with no power, driven between orange barrels for years, and is still heartbroken at the sight of the turtles trying to escape the demolition. There's the story of a university, that took it upon itself to save Turner Field and now write the historic stadium's third chapter.

SunTrust Park is here, and while you know its convoluted story, these are the stories from some of the people who were most affected by the Braves moving out of Atlanta and to Cobb County.