Posted November 11, 2013

Atlanta Braves to relocate to new suburban stadium in 2017

MLB
The Braves moved into Turner Field after the 1986 Summer Olympics. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Braves moved into Turner Field after the 1996 Summer Olympics. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Braves announced plans on Monday to relocate to a new suburban stadium in 2017, as first reported by the Marietta Daily Journal.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Braves executives John Schuerholz, Mike Plant and Derek Schiller told a small group of reporters that the new ballpark will be built in suburban Cobb County, at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the Galleria/Cumberland Mall area. They said the team has “secured” 60 acres of land for the project, according to the Journal-Constitution.

The Braves said that the project will be built in partnership with Cobb County. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that the county would provide $450 million in financing and the team would pay $200 million up front.

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The Braves will leave Turner Field when their 20-year agreement expires after the 2016 season.

The Braves released a statement explaining the move and outlining the limitations that Turner Field presents on future remodeling and expansion:

Turner Field is a facility that was built for three weeks of use for the Olympics, but has now served us well for nearly 20 years. The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years.

Turner Field has served the Braves well since 1997, but it is in need of major infrastructure work, which will cost around $150 million. These upgrades are functional ones, such as replacing worn-out seats or upgrading the stadium’s lighting, and they would do little to significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million.

Those upgrades still wouldn’t address the logistical challenges outside the stadium – lack of consistent mass transit options, inadequate number of parking spaces and limited access to major highways.


43 comments
BurtCaswell
BurtCaswell

The Braves left Boston in 1952 , again breaking this then 12 year old heart. They, and the Red Sox, broke it in 1948.

Tell me why and you win the Boston Beaneaters...Bees award..I just have to figure out what it is!

2001mark
2001mark

Am I reading this correctly, or perhaps I'm confused...

The Braves organization refuses to pay $350mil to repair their current stadium, so taxpayers have to chip in $450mil of their own to simply build a new one?

AmAzInG :D   & with that, their 1996 Olympic legacy is dead.  IOC wins again, good thing Georgia is a stupid place.

RichW
RichW

Tax payers should say NO to publicly funded stadiums. We paid a heavy price here in Cincinnati, and will be paying for many years to come.

TwitSpif
TwitSpif

They think they can create and own a "destination." Owning all the bars, restaurants and parking around it. Like a Mall of America with baseball in the middle. The Phoenix Coyotes and Jobbings.com Arena work this way, Except they lose millions. Maybe they figure with 81 home dates, plus 2 playoff games each year, it will work better for them. 

Ebullient
Ebullient

This is just in keeping with baseball's move from being a working and middle class sport to to a middle and upper-middle class sport, almost exclusively marketed to white sports fans, whereas in the 70s and 80s when ticket prices were still affordable and before all of the silly "nostalgia marketing" began, just about anyone could afford a ticket without breaking a sweat.  Now each game is marketed as an "experience", something beyond taking in a sporting event and watching with excitement a game you follow closely.  When one can easily spend $40-50 for one mediocre seat at one of 81 home games per year, plus $10-30 for parking, plus a lot more if you dare eat anything, it's not a sport for everybody anymore, at least seeing it live isn't.  Taking the new stadium out to the burbs makes sense in the context that the marketing of the game utterly ignores the urban, working class, and more ethnically diverse fan base that used to go to the games and has no use for those fans.

bellinghamfitz
bellinghamfitz

Build a new stadium for each sport every 18 years or so, for the worst fans in any sport?  Uh...ok.

GTT
GTT

"lack of consistent mass transit options"

In Cobb there are NO mass transit options except the local bus.

cmacatl
cmacatl

Thank goodness - a new stadium closer to most of the ticket buyers and 15 less miles to drive in rush hour traffic for those of us on the north side.  Hopefully, they will build a stadium with a capacity commensurate with the metro population (something like Boston's with 37,499 seats instead of the converted Olympic stadium with over 50,000 seats like Yankee stadium).  Then we won't have to hear about how empty the stadium is all the time by the sports scribes at ESPN.  Vinings is a much safer area and there are numerous places to go in the vicinity before and after the games unlike Turner Field where you get nervous for your safety two blocks away in any direction.

SlamaLama
SlamaLama

Move to where more of your fans are located. Check.

William56
William56

But wait, only Blue states like to waste Tax Payer dollars. I know that because that's what the Red States keep telling us! 

6marK6
6marK6

Tax payers of Cobb County, get ready to chip in a little more so that the billionaire owners of this baseball team can get richer. Then the tax payers of Fulton County can see their taxes go up as they pay to demolish a perfectly good stadium that has no purpose anymore. When will American taxpayers see where most of their taxes go, it ain't to the poor.

AndyBedford
AndyBedford

Okay, that makes no sense to say the vinings area will afford mass transit, which currently except for a few buses, there is none.  To say better access to interstate/highways.. has anyone ever been in that area after a concert in the new Cobb Center, or just near there during normal ( or very heavy rush hour ).  I get the fact they want a new plush stadium, but really, the area they picked is insane for a new ballpark!  I drive rush hour everyday at the 75/285 interchange... now compound it with an additional 40,000 plus baseball fans...insane to try to drive to turner field, insane to drive here too!

CathyHarper-Hogan
CathyHarper-Hogan

Doesn't it bother you folks to recall that when we were going through the process of deciding on the new Falcons Stadium, we were made aware when talks broke down, or of Mr. Blank's vision for the team. Nothing like that came from Mr. Schuerholz. It would have been nice to have been told that there was a breakdown in the talks with the Atlanta governing authorities for Turner Field, but oooh, wait,.... Mr. Shuerholtz didn't really want us to know that fact, because he knew of the firestorm that was about to come. I hope he enjoys the backlash for which he and is group so richly deserve

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

The Braves have always been a bit restless. From Boston (the Bees) to Milwaukee to Atlanta...

Arkelope
Arkelope

@therednorth1 The majority of their ticket holders live north of the city. I used to be one, but I quit buying because the commute to the game was insane. Atlanta does not make it easy to get to the stadium (and back) with the mass amounts of everyday traffic routed through downtown. Rush hour is a nightmare. Also, the current location is located on the border of the sketchy part of the city (the south side), so outside of Turner Field it is not safe, especially at night. The new location (around Vinings) is incredibly safe any time of day.

Tampa is not a good comparison. St. Pete is at least 15 miles away separated by water and a bridge, so congestion is typically routed through 1 way. At least the move is still inside the Atlanta "metro" with multiple access points. Plus, it's much easier now for everyone on the North side (where all of the money is) to get to the games.

This move makes complete sense. A lot of the ticket holders were thinking the new move would be to the old General Motors plant in Doraville close to I-285/I-85. That lot has been sitting vacant for many many years now. Surprised the Falcons didn't choose to move there.

I hope they build a more "unique" stadium. The only thing that makes Turner field stand is out a chopping cow, a giant coke bottle and the Chophouse. Take those away and you have the one of the most generic boring stadiums in baseball.

TwitSpif
TwitSpif

Only half of the stadium was built for three weeks use. That half was torn down after the Olympics. The other half was always intended as a baseball stadium. If you want a new stadium just say so. No need to lie. 

therednorth1
therednorth1

Have they learned nothing from Tampa Bay?  Suburban stadiums don't work unless you're New York City or Los Angeles.

Jerry11
Jerry11

Understand that it was built for the Olympics, and all . . . but all that money for 20 years?  WOW

Lee3
Lee3

You are not reading this correctly.  The condition of the stadium has NOTHING to do with moving 10 miles up the highway to the other side of the city.  The current stadium does not belong to the Braves.  When you lease a home or an apartment, would you pay pay your monthly rent and then at the end of the term pay to have it remodeled when you don't own it?  I think not.  However, as I said, the stadium condition really has zero, absolutely no bearing, on the move.  The braves can increase revenue greatly if they are in an area that can support a walking dining/bar district around the stadium.  This will never happen where the stadium is located.  The braves, when owned by Ted Turner, wanted a new stadium north of downtown before the Olympics, but were convinced to agree to moving into the olympic stadium so as to help with the city's bid for the 96 Olympics.  Cobb County taxpayers know that the county will make much more than the 400 million investment within a couple years of the new stadium being built .  This actually makes sense. 

Lee3
Lee3

@Ebullient NO you are WRONG.  THIS move will allow more working middle class support and better access to the braves.  Middle class season ticket holders do not go to Turner Field during the week.  That is a problem.  They will go when the new stadium is built in Cobb. I agree that the ticket prices are too high as are concessions, but this move will help sell tickets to middle class fans, not hurt.

Lee3
Lee3

@GTT There are none where it is now/.  Atleast where the new stadium will be is at the intersection of Interstate 75 and 285 with easy access.  In addition to that, people will be able to shop and stay in hotels nearby and walk to games.  You dont do that where it is now.

Arkelope
Arkelope

@GTT The mass transit option for the current stadium is a joke. If you take the subway, it won't even take you all of the way there. You've got to get off, walk through a really sketchy mall and then wait in line to take a bus. And to think a few years ago there was serious talk ending the bus ride from the Subway station, forcing people to drive or walk 20 blocks to the stadium. Ridiculous.

Lee3
Lee3

@William56 This is not a waste.  This is an investment that will repay itself a thousand times over/

6marK6
6marK6

@William56 Yep and take a look which states take in the most federal dollars per capita, it is the red ones, whose state governments provide nothing to their people. The cons scream the loudest about federal spending, but they get most of it.

Lee3
Lee3

@6marK6 If u want to b**ch about waste....see the new retractable roof dome being built across the street from the current dome for the falcons.  THAT is waste.

muser
muser

@6marK6 Would you like to have that discussion? Do you know how much is spent on social programs? Get a grip. The poor are overpaid in America. 

don57
don57

@AndyBedford I thought the same thing, traffic around the Cumberland area is hideous anyway. Can't imagine trying to get to 285/75 after a game. I also couldn't believe the "mass transit" comment on the news. Mass transit in Cobb County? Since when?

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

@AndyBedford I couldn't agree more . That thing that really is puzzling is that Cobb Co . will never agree to mass transit so no one will even be able to get to the game by rail .  Meaning that it will be a parking lot from the interstate to the stadium . It will be closer for me as a Marietta resident but the commute will probably be worse .

Lee3
Lee3

@Rickapolis You do realize that they arent really moving out of Atlanta right? The new stadium will be ten miles from this one and less than 3 miles from the city limits of atlanta.

BurtCaswell
BurtCaswell

@Rickapolis The Boston Braves (not Bees..much earlier) broke my heart by leaving in 1952 as a 12 year old. They were the "middle" class team, as well as the Red Sox. !948 was even worse, I defy you, or others to tell me why..hint..it involved BOTH Boston teams. I gave up my season tickets here in South Florida for some of the same reasons you guys are discussing, in addition, of course to the perennial "sell offs"!!

Badmoon
Badmoon

@Arkelope

The issue with the old GM Plant is what is underneath it.   Numerous core samples have been pulled from the property showing contaminants and other items that it appears nobody wants to deal with.   

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

@therednorth1 They seem to work better than putting them in the ghetto .Finding that the middle ground can be dicey when you need major acreage I bet .  

don57
don57

@Arkelope @GTT I agree, taking MARTA is bad enough, but then having to go through Underground Atlanta at night is scary. Lots of sketchy characters hanging out there, last time we went had to listen to crude catcalls made at our wives. At least in Cobb county we'll feel safe enough to go to a game.


6marK6
6marK6

@muser @William56 You would be incapable of citing one fact to bolster your argument. Go watch some Fox News and come back with a soundbite for us.

6marK6
6marK6

@muser @6marK6 Actually I do, do you? The overwhelming bulk of your individual taxes go to "corporate" welfare and national defense. Social Security also takes a nice chunk. 

Lee3
Lee3

@don57 @AndyBedford The intersection of 75 and 285 provides for ease of access.  There is no public transportation to the current stadium.  Atleast you will be able to safely walk to the games at the new site.  This is a GREAT move.

Arkelope
Arkelope

@Badmoon @Arkelope Did not know that. Thanks for the news! Makes sense now why no one is touching that property.