Georgia State University is pitching Atlanta officials on a redevelopment of the Turner Field area, with the ballpark converted to a football stadium and construction of a new ballpark on the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium footprint.
The new 2,500-seat ballpark would use the layout of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium field and incorporate the “Henry Aaron wall” — the part of the old ballpark still standing, marking the spot where the legend set the career home-run record. The area is currently used as part of the Turner Field parking lot.
The university is partnering with Atlanta real estate development firm Carter on a proposal for a $300-million development that would include retail, entertainment and the new athletic facilities. Firm costs on what it would take to convert Turner Field for football have not been totalled, but let’s not forget the facility began as a Olympic track-and-field stadium, with From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Turner Field and the surrounding 77-acre area has been the subject of intense speculation since the Braves announced they were to going to build a new stadium in Cobb County that will open in 2017. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said on April 17 that he had already received as many as four proposals for the property. Georgia State’s is one of the four.
[University President Dr. Mark] Becker said it’s too early to know how much it will cost to re-purpose Turner Field or build a baseball stadium. However, he doesn’t plan on increasing student fees to finance the project. Students will pay $46.17 per registered hour – capped at $277 per semester — to support athletics during the 2014-15 academic year. It is the second-most expensive portion of the 11 components of the mandatory student fees.
Georgia State and Carter will begin the process of due diligence in calculating exact costs for the project. Becker said the plan is to accomplish what’s proposed and not leave something out, like the football stadium, should the estimated costs increase. He said there is no back-up plan.
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