BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
The Atlanta Braves will open their new ballpark on April 14, and a couple of weeks later welcome the first concert at the stadium – Billy Joel.
The pop-rock icon, who last played Atlanta in March 2015 with a sold-out show at Philips Arena, will bring his arsenal of hits to SunTrust Park on April 28.
American Express cardmembers can purchase tickets from 10 a.m. Jan. 9 through 10 p.m. Jan. 12.
All seats will be reserved and with seating placed on the field (which will be protected by a covering), capacity is expected to be about the same as a typical Braves game – 41,500.
The announcement of the inaugural music event at the Braves home was made Thursday morning at the office building across from the under-construction field by Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, and Derek Schiller, president of business for the Braves.
“The big ones are always fun,” Conlon said, noting that he has been part of many “firsts” at other venues – including presenting U2’s Zoo TV tour at the Georgia Dome in 1992, and hosting Jason Aldean for the first-ever concert at Athens’ Sanford Stadium in 2013.
Joel, meanwhile, continues to play sporadic dates in between his regularly sold-out monthly residency at Madison Square Garden.
Last week, the hitmaker celebrated New Year’s Eve with a performance in Miami — fulfilling the long-ago promise of his song, “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway).”
Schiller indicated that concerts would be a regular occurrence at SunTrust Park and said that the stadium was designed with hosting music events in mind.
“A prerequisite (during construction discussions) was we wanted to make sure we had easy load-in and load-out for concerts and would have green rooms,” he said.
Live Nation will also manage the new Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre adjacent to the Braves ballpark. The 4,000-capacity venue is expected to open in April.