Commentary by Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier sports editor
Since the Atlanta Braves moved from Turner Field in southeastern Atlanta to their new ballpark in suburban Cobb County in 2017, the ballpark has been known as SunTrust Park. This changed last week, as the Braves announced that Truist Park would be the new name of the ballpark.
The name change caused outrage from fans on social media who said that they liked the SunTrust name. In addition, several fans said they wanted the ballpark’s new name to honor Braves legend Hank Aaron.
While I personally prefer SunTrust Park over Truist Park, I understand why the name changed happened. Truist Park is not a surprising name for the ballpark.
According to an article on Sports Business Journal Daily, in 2014, the Atlanta Braves signed a 25-year naming rights deal with Atlantabased SunTrust Banks. SunTrust recently merged with BB&T to create Truist Bank (Truist Financial Corp.), according to a Marietta Daily Journal article. Since SunTrust already had the 25- year naming right deal with the Braves, many people knew that the Truist name would spill over to the ballpark.
While Aaron is not going to be honored through the new ballpark’s name, Truist still plans to honor him.
According to Tim Tucker with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Truist said that it plans to renovate a youth baseball field every year in the Atlanta area over the next 10 years and rename each of them after Aaron.
As briefly mentioned above, I personally prefer the SunTrust Park name over Truist Park. SunTrust Park rolls off the tongue easier than Truist Park. In addition, the SunTrust Park name is catchy and has become synonymous with Braves baseball over the past few seasons.
I would also love to see the Braves honor Aaron in some way.
It would have been neat if the new name of the ballpark was “Hank Aaron Field at Truist Park” or “Truist Field at Hank Aaron Park” if Truist had to come first.
I know that naming rights are an important part of sports today. However, I urge the sports world to start considering its history to incorporate as well. A team’s history is even more important.