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Article:Braves, Gwinett County haggle over naming rights for new AAA park

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In 2009, the Atlanta Braves class AAA club will move from the Diamond in Richmond, Virginia to their new home in Buford, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. This is a great move for the Braves because should they need to call up someone from AAA, they would not have to make the 530 mile trip from Virginia to Georgia. A lot of MLB teams are doing that, moving their AAA clubs closer to the big club for that purpose.

The Braves are looking for help to keep Gwinnett County from selling naming rights to companies that don't sponsor the Braves, such as Pepsi Cola and Continental Airlines. The team states that they have had long standing relationships with Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola since they came to Atlanta in 1966. Plus, people in the Atlanta area and the Southeast for that matter, identify with these two corporate giants. It would be a sin, in the eyes of many, to name the field after a competitor. In other words, it's like Bugs Bunny telling people that he no longer likes carrots.

I consider this to be proactive thinking on the part of the Braves. A AAA team nearby would mean not only revenue for Gwinnett County and the city of Buford, it would also mean more dead presidents in the coffers of the state of Georgia. Groundbreaking is tenatively slated for this April and it would be nice if the ballpark had a name. Perhaps the fans and people of Buford and Gwinnett County could have a contest to name the new digs. After all, they're footing the bill, so they should get some bang for their bucks.

Here's one that I like. Coca-Cola Field at Gwinnett. Why not? It covers both sponsor and county name. It might work.

Build it and they will come. Name it something that they can relate to and they will come by the droves. Name it after Pepsi and there will be hell to pay. I pity the person that does name it that. They will be the most hated person in Atlanta since Sherman came into town.  


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