0

Ceremony planned at stadium
Groundbreaking set for 11 a.m. Tuesday

LAWRENCEVILLE - While a baseball diamond is already taking shape at the future home of the Gwinnett Braves, officials will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday for the anticipated minor league stadium.

"I think it's a once in a lifetime opportunity," Chairman Charles Bannister said of the stadium, which officials announced earlier this year. "This is yet another baby step in the right direction."

A week ago, developers were granted the second permit for the construction on Buford Drive, between Old Peachtree Road and Rock Springs Road, north of Lawrenceville.

Officials plan to construct two warehouse-style buildings, which will meet in a corner to shape the 10,000-seat stadium. The total project cost, including the price of land, is $45 million.

Preston Williams, manager for the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau who is leading the stadium project, said construction is on schedule for the Triple-A baseball team to begin the 2009 season next April.

"We really feel like this is going to bring a lot to Gwinnett," Williams said.

While the project has prompted letters to the editor and complaints about the secret negotiations, location and traffic, Bannister said much of the response has been positive. "We're moving forward," he said.

Officials are also expected to unveil the team's logo and uniforms Monday.