One of the driving forces behind the Braves’ decision to relocate to Cobb County was the fact that the organization would never be able to own or control the area immediately surrounding the stadium, and therefore wouldn’t be able to develop any kind of entertainment or lodging venues to accommodate Braves fans. The preliminary plans for the new stadium in Cobb include hundreds of thousands of square feet of mixed-use development in the area surrounding the actual field; sources confirm that this “entertainment district” will include an assortment of shops, restaurant, and activities. Managing a baseball team is hard enough, so the Braves organization has brought in Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment to help them manage everything from naming rights to sponsorships to the stadium’s technology and facility systems. Van Wagner had an “in” on this deal – Braves’ VP of Marketing Derek Schiller is a close, personal friend of Van Wagner’s president and CEO Jeff Knapple. As of now, the Braves organization will be taking the lead in selling all rights to the ballpark with Van Wagner acting simply as a consultant and marketer; the firm could become more involved later in process and sell suites and club seats for the Braves. The Braves hope to involve major players early in the process, as getting them on board before the design is completed will open up more opportunities for the developers.
Van Wagner is providing similar consulting services to the Minnesota Vikings for their new, $975 million stadium. Van Wagner is developing the stadium’s technology as well as selling naming rights, seat licenses, and premium seats for the NFL team. The Vikings’ new stadium is scheduled for a 2016 completion.Share