SunTrust Dimensions: Might Be a Little Premature to Call it ‘Freeman Field’
We now know how big SunTrust Park is going to be… and the guess here is that while the prevailing team declaration is that it will be roughly equivalent to Turner Field, there’s reason to think that hitters and pitchers might both have some reason to like what they see.
Tim Ticker, writing for the AJC.com and AlbanyHerald, gave us the scoop yesterday, along with an updated graphic to show the plan for the outfield wall. Here’s the tale of the tape:
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Of Particular Note
- Whereas the wall at Turner Field gently curves from foul pole to foul pole, SunTrust appears to use straight lines, going from point-to-point.
- There should be a little more outfield depth in left field, a little less from Left-center to Center (though an extra 2 feet required to launch a homer to not-quite straightaway center), and noticeably less in right field… with a caveat.
- Turner Field’s consistent wall height is gone. Poke to left field might thus be a little easier while shots to RF will need to clear a significant wall of 16 feet.
The wall is illustrated in the new rendering above, though it is enhanced below with a yellow line to better show where the height changes occur.
Less obvious in that graphic might be the foul territory areas, and indeed, there was no mention of this in the reports from yesterday. If the above picture is accurate, there could be a bit more foul territory down both 1st and 3rd base lines – something the pitchers would certainly like to see.
While more foul ground might normally mean pushing fans further back from the field as well, SunTrust’s design is also supposed to deal with that via seating that is a bit steeper, and with upper decks that are brought further forward toward the field of play. If that proves to be the case, then I would expect that fans in the same relative seat in either park would not notice a distance difference.
The general idea of these changes was to add a bit of character and uniqueness to the stadium without getting carried away. Clearly, they didn’t push that envelope, but it’s at least interesting to see a change. But that does beg the question: who benefits?
We have made a “best guess” overlay of Turner Field dimensions (in orange at right) vs. the new SunTrust figures.
As you can see, it appears that SunTrust’s LF corner gives way to a bigger space more quickly than Turner Field, though until the 375′ mark is hit, that wall is noticeably lower: six feet.
I do anticipate players being able to ‘steal’ the cheap homer quite readily in that corner, perhaps even being able to leap up on top of the wall to attempt a catch. That will be interesting – and perhaps scary – to see.
The bigger change is in Right Field – up to a 15 feet shorter poke will be needed to homer with a noticeably smaller field area along the entire right side. However, that’s balanced by a sixteen foot high wall stretching from center field to the foul pole.
Next: So it's Different: Who Benefits?