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SunTrust Bank has held naming rights at the stadium, SunTrust Park, since it opened to the public in 2017. Originally reached in 2014, the 25-year deal is said to be worth more than $10 million per year.
The two banks are expected to complete their merger this fall and gradually shift toward a combined operation with a new name, Truist Bank, over the next two years. SunTrust and team officials said they have yet to finalize a new name for SunTrust Park, adding that no change will occur during the 2019 MLB season.
“The Atlanta Braves and SunTrust have a great partnership, and we will work together on the new name for SunTrust Park,” the Braves and SunTrust said in a joint statement. “Nothing will change for this season, and SunTrust’s naming rights commitment will continue for years to come.”
The combined entities’ new name drew widespread criticism on social media, particularly among Braves fans who lamented the possibility that their team’s home stadium would be called some variation of “Truist Bank Field.” Many critics derided the name as “too corporate” for a baseball field.
Braves and SunTrust officials did not provide a timeline for when a name change for the stadium would take effect and declined to comment on criticism related to the “Truist” name.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in March that any name change would likely be an “extensive and expensive” matter given the sheer amount of SunTrust branding in and around the stadium.
The SunTrust-BB&T merger was first announced earlier this year in a deal valued at $66 billion. BB&T executive Kelly King will become CEO and chairman at Truist in 2021, and the combined entity will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.