Turner Field may not have wait very long to begin its next act, as Georgia State University could begin using it as a football stadium by next fall.
There is more about this story on our sister site, Football Stadium Digest, but Georgia State is currently working with HOK on a plan to convert the stadium into a football facility. Some particulars are unknown at this time, but as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, past concepts have included scaling the ballpark down to 30,000 seats.
The Atlanta Braves are weeks away from playing their last game at Turner Field, and Georgia State and its partners–Carter and Oakwood Development–are expected to close on the property by the end of this year.
As far as architects Bill Johnson and Randy Bredar are concerned, the basics of the conversion process–such as the configuration of the field–can probably be figured out in time for the 2017 college football season. However, there are some additional details that could prove to be more time consuming. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Bredar said the redesign will also have to consider alterations to improve sight lines for football.
Bredar, who along with Johnson did not have first-hand knowledge of Georgia State’s plans, said Georgia State also would be wise to preserve suites for greater revenue potential.
A full overhaul of the stadium would likely take place between seasons or stretch across multiple seasons.
“It’s not unusual for us as a contractor to renovate, expand and modify stadiums and have that work continue while a season is in play,” Bredar said.
Compared to most MLB ballparks, Turner Field is probably better positioned to be quickly converted to football because of its unusual history. It was built for the 1996 Olympics before being scaled down to a ballpark. Georgia State has have an incentive to play in Turner Field next fall, because the football program’s current home is the Georgia Dome. That facility will likely be torn down before the 2017 college season to make more space for the adjacent Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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