“We can confirm we have selected Populous, but we are now in the contract negotiation stage and will need approval from Cobb County,” Atlanta Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall told the MDJ on Tuesday.
Populous is a global architectural firm that has designed such stadiums as Marlins Park Miami in 2012, a 37,000-seat ballpark with a retractable roof that serves as the home of the Miami Marlins; Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis, a 40,000-seat ballpark built in 2010 costing $545 million; and Yankee Stadium in New York in 2009, according to its web site. The firm also designed Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., which opened in 2008.
The company was founded in 1983.
County Chairman Tim Lee said he had already given the Braves approval to hire Populous. Last week attorneys for the Braves asked Lee to sign a “notification letter” acknowledging the franchise had selected Populous as the architect subject to final contract negotiations.
Lee said he signed the letter along with Jerry Nix, chairman of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, the agency that has agreed to issue $368 million in revenue bonds to finance the deal.
“They’ll work with the Braves to design the look and the functionality and what the stadium actually looks like and from there they’ll hire someone to actually build it,” Lee said of Populous.
Lee said Populous was not designing the $400 million mixed-use development the Braves plan to build around the stadium. The Braves have not yet announced who will be doing that work.
“Populous is only doing the architect work of the stadium,” he said.
Lee said he had reviewed the firm’s previous work and was impressed.
“We haven’t been able to find anything to suggest that they won’t do a stellar job for us. It’s another step forward,” he said.