There used to be a time when those who lived in Gwinnett County had to drive to Atlanta to see a major musical concert or a pro sporting event. But it's a whole new ballgame in Gwinnett, a fact that was underscored by this week's announcement that the Atlanta Braves will move their Triple-A minor league team to Buford.
The new team, which will move from Richmond, Va., in time for the 2009 season, makes it a sporting trifecta for Gwinnett residents.
Like hockey? You have the Gwinnett Gladiators, which have drawn 1 million fans in five seasons at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Need a football fix? The Arena will feature the return of the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League this year.
And now baseball, at the highest minor league level, is coming to town. Making it all the better is its affiliation with the big-league Braves down the road.
But you no longer have to drive down that road - or, more accurately, highway - to see pro baseball. Or football. Or hockey. You can see it all in Gwinnett, along with the many major musical tours that come to the Arena.
Country superstar George Strait played there Friday, with acts like Van Halen, Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood slated for the upcoming months. Bruce Springsteen has played at the Arena, as well as have Bob Dylan, The Eagles and The Who.
What once was a bedroom community is now a destination. Minor league baseball gives locals another reason to stay home to be entertained.
Now, Gwinnett has grown up enough that when fans sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," they won't have to be worried about being taken out of the county.
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