With the Atlanta Braves moving to a new suburban ballpark in 2017, Turner Field is slated to be torn down to make way for new development, according to Mayor Kasim Reed.
Turner Field’s location may not be ideal for a professional sports venue — it’s directly on a freeway clogged with rush-hour traffic right before game times, unserved by mass transit — and it sports a design with a large number of inadequate seats with a concourse design closed to the field of play. Some of these things can’t be fixed; let’s recall that this facility was built for the 1996 Olympics and afterwards retrofitted for pro baseball. While the retrofitting worked fairly well, there were some things, like some awkward sightlines, that couldn’t be fixed.
So the solution for Reed and the city is to tear down the ballpark and use the acreage for a middle-class development. Atlanta is a growing city, and we’re guessing some development will find the area economically appealing. From AP:
“We’re going to have a master developer that is going to demolish the Ted and we’re going to have one of the largest developments for middle-class people that the city has ever had,” he said, referring to the stadium’s nickname….
The mayor said Atlanta had hoped to keep the team in the city but could not afford to do so. He says the city would have had to take on $150 million to $250 million in debt to make the improvements the Braves wanted at Turner Field….
The Braves had made it clear for years they were not satisfied with Turner Field, located just south of downtown near some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. The team frequently cited a lack of neighborhood development, complaints about the closest MARTA rapid-transit station being about a mile away, and the inability to secure more parking spaces.
Turner Field is the third former MLB venue scheduled for demolition in coming years: both the Metrodome and Candlestick Park are set to be demolished in 2014. And, of course, the fate of the Astrodome remains in doubt.
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