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Workers put finishing touches on stadium
Facility granted permit to sell beer on Sunday

LAWRENCEVILLE - The inaugural season of the Gwinnett Braves opens today in Charlotte. But as the team travels to the Tar Heel State, many workers have stayed behind to complete the finishing touches on the team's home stadium.

"We've still got a little work in the parking lot," said Preston Williams of the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, beginning a short list of punch items. "It's just a lot of small things."

With alcohol permits in place - even one to allow the selling of beer on Sundays after an attempt in two legislative sessions to clear up the law - and the roster set, there are still plenty of details to consider before the baseball team returns from an eight-game road trip to a sell-out crowd.

According to team spokeswoman Courtney Lawson, the week before the home opener, staffers will work on videos for the stadium's huge video scoreboard, practice pulling the tarp in case of rain and tweaking any aspects of the stadium based on concerns of fans who visited during an open house Tuesday.

"Everything is presentable today, but we want it to be perfect," Lawson said at the open house.

While 500 workers were at the Buford Drive stadium site during the peak of the construction, Lawson said about 100 could be there for the next week, mostly maintenance workers and clean-up crews but also some electricians working on last-minute projects.

Workers need to resod the berm area, where families will sit for the first game on April 17. Lawson also said some of the signage hasn't been put into place, and some painting and spackling will go on in the next week, after recent rains revealed some leaks.

Even as fans toured the stadium, boxes and furniture were still stacked behind closed doors, such as in the team's offices.

"It's like tweaks here and there, like spackle and paint," Lawson said of the last week of work before the home opener.

SideBar: The games

Season Opener

· Who: Braves at Charlotte Knights

· When: Today, 11:15 a.m.

· Where: Charlotte, N.C.

· Radio: 550-AM

Home Opener

· Who: Braves vs. Norfolk Tides

· When: April 17, 7 pm.

· Where: Gwinnett Braves Stadium

· Radio: 550-AM

Opening day coverage

For complete live coverage of the Gwinnett Braves' inaugural game today against the Charlotte Knights, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com.

Staff writer Ben Beitzel will post a live blog from the season's first game, as well as scoring and noteworthy stats at the end of each inning. Photo editor Jason Braverman also will be posting game and scene-setting photos from the new minor league baseball team's debut.