Have you ever lived in suburban Atlanta? If so, you may have tried driving from Suwanee (where I grew up), Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Roswell, or whatever other North Atlanta suburb to downtown Atlanta, find a parking spot, and get to Turner Field for a 7:05 pm game. It’s absolutely miserable, is it not?
The Atlanta Braves have announced they’ll build a new stadium about 10 miles Northwest of the current venue in Cobb county (near the Cobb Galleria mall).
We are excited to announce plans to build a world-class stadium, which will open in 2017 at the NW intersection of I-75/I-285. #Braves
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 11, 2013
Traffic issues are a huge problem in Atlanta in general and were affecting attendance. The Braves were also about 5,000 parking spots short of what they needed and had nowhere else to add more. The city of Atlanta owns the current parking lots, taking a potential revenue source away from the team. Add to those problems that Turner Field needed expensive improvements in the near future and you have the perfect storm.
Despite its relatively young age, Plant said Turner Field needs $150 million in routine improvements and that it would cost $200 million to truly enhance the fan experience.
The new stadium is proposed at a cost of $672 million which would indicate that it is going to be pretty darn impressive. It also sounds like Cobb county tax payers will pay for a large portion of that tab (likely another huge reason why the Braves were willing to make this bold move).
This will relocate the team closer to the majority of the club’s fans, which are in the city’s Northern suburbs (the nicer part of Atlanta).
— Zach Dillard (@Zach_Dillard) November 11, 2013
The deal is not 100% confirmed, but Braves executives are 100% confident it will happen for the 2017 season.
The Braves said the stadium is projected to cost $672 million, including parking, land and infrastructure, and will be built in partnership with Cobb County … [Executive vice president Derek] Schiller said there is not a signed agreement at this time, but Schiller and Plant said they are 100 percent confident the stadium will be built.
As a native Atlantan, my analysis is simple and I think most folks from the area will quickly agree. For the Braves this is a no-brainer. A nicer, county-funded (at least partially) stadium with more revenue opportunities… Why wouldn’t they take it? Atlanta was simply unable to match Cobb counties offer.
For the majority of the fans–those in the Northern suburbs–this is a win as well. However the area around Turner Field was just starting to get better and this could plunge it back to the undesirable place it once was. The surroundings for the new field are expected to absolutely blow away the those nearby Turner Field, as there will be shops, restaurants, and the like. If you’re a Braves fan and don’t live anywhere near Atlanta, well this could mean an increased payroll, so you’re happy.
The Winners: The Franchise, Baseball fans in North Atlanta, Braves fans who want to see an increased payroll
The Losers: Baseball fans South of Atlanta and in Downtown
- Mayor: Atlanta unwilling to match offer for Braves (onlineathens.com)
- More: Atlanta Braves say new stadium projected to cost $672 million; not clear how much organization will pay – @ajc (ajc.com)