The Atlanta Braves plan on moving into a new stadium in Cobb County in 2017. Here are five questions concerning the move:
1. What is the purpose of the move?
The Braves released a map plotting the location of ticket buyers in 2012, which shows the vast majority of tickets sold belonged to fans north of Atlanta, especially Cobb and Gwinnett counties. The move creates an easier destination for more ticket-buying fans. It also allows the Braves to build the area around the new stadium. The area surrounding Turner Field is not owned by the Braves. Owning the surrounding area would allow for shops, restaurants and scenery to be built.
2. What does this mean for Augusta fans traveling to the park?
It means a longer route. The best way to travel is to take the Downtown Connector from Interstate 20 to Interstate 75 and get off at the I-75/I-285 connection. This means traveling through perhaps the two busiest connectors in the Atlanta area. It’s a two-hour drive from Augusta to Turner Field. Prepare for an extra 30 minutes based on distance alone. Prepare for even longer times in the late afternoon.
3. Does this mean better public transportation to the stadium?
There are no details regarding how this will affect public transportation. In a news release, the Braves said Turner Field has a “lack of consistent mass transit to the facility.” If the team includes that as a reason for leaving the stadium, one would think the proposed site, which currently lacks consistent mass transit, would have transit services. Cobb County has opposed public transit spending in the past.
4. How will the proposed stadium be funded?
The total cost, according to the Braves, will be $672 million. The Braves said it will be a public-private partnership. The mixture of funding sources hasn’t been determined, so it’s unclear how much Cobb County or the Braves will pay. Reports on Monday said $450 million could be on the books for the county.
5. What does the future hold for Turner Field?
The future is uncertain. There appears to be no use for a large baseball stadium once the Braves leave, so demolition is an option. The Braves also said the stadium is in need of infrastructure work totaling $150 million, but the stadium is only 17 years old. The city of Atlanta and the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority will make the final decision.