Atlanta Braves, players, officials, fans greatly anticipating team’s first opener at SunTrust Park

The Atlanta Braves' SunTrust Park will host a Kennesaw State football game in 2018. (Photo: Atlanta Braves)

Kennesaw State University and the Atlanta Braves announced Friday that the Owls will host a football game at SunTrust Park in 2018.

The game on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 between Kennesaw State and Jacksonville State will be the first football game played at the new, 41,000-seat home of the Braves that opened in Cobb County in April.

Representatives from the Braves, KSU and JSU participated in a joint press conference Friday afternoon at SunTrust Park to make the announcement. Also Friday, a celebration on the plaza at the Battery Atlanta is planned for 5:30 p.m., along with an on-field recognition before Friday’s Braves-Mets game.

“This is a historic day for so many reasons,” said Vaughn Williams, director of athletics at Kennesaw State. “I can’t thank Mike Plant and the Atlanta Braves organization enough for allowing the Owls to play the first football game at SunTrust Park. We are excited to provide our student-athletes, coaches, fans, and alumni the opportunity to see our football team play in such an incredible and unique venue. I know this will be a great event for Cobb County and the Northwest Georgia region.”

SunTrust Park’s baseball playing surface will be converted to a football field with the field running from homeplate to left field.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to bring football to SunTrust Park than with Kennesaw State,” said Mike Plant, Braves president of development. “Vaughn Williams was integral in making this happen and we’re excited to host this game for Cobb County and Kennesaw State students, faculty and alumni.”

Under head coach Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State is entering its third season of football in 2017. The Owls have won 14 games over their first two seasons, and came one win shy of a Big South Conference title in 2016. Jacksonville State, coached by John Grass, is a perennial power in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Gamecocks have posted a 33-6 record over the last three seasons, reaching the FCS Playoffs each year and playing for the national championship in 2015.

Kennesaw State announced that its football season-ticket holders for the 2017 season will have first choice at seating location for the 2018 game at SunTrust Park. Season tickets for 2017 are on sale for $99, plus applicable donation to the Owls Fund. The SunTrust Park game will be part of the Owls’ 2018 season-ticket package.

More information specific to the 2018 game, including game time, ticket prices, student tickets, and premium seating packages has yet to be determined.

Also in 2018, the Owls will open the season at Georgia State, which now playing its home games in the Braves former home – Turner Field. Kennesaw State’s other non-conference opponents in 2018 include Samford, Tennessee Tech, Alabama State, and Clark-Atlanta.

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