Atlanta (WAOK) — With the recent announcement that the Atlanta Braves will be moving from downtown Atlanta to a $672 million stadium in suburban Cobb County in 2017, there have been mixed feelings from residents within and beyond the metro Atlanta area. The Braves have played in downtown Atlanta since 1966 after leaving Milwaukee, Wisconsin, beginning at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. In 1996, Centennial Olympic Stadium was built for that years Summer Olympic Games and was subsequently renovated in 1997 to provide a new home for the Atlanta Braves and have been there ever since. Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium has since been demolished and Mayor Kasim Reed has announced that upon the Braves departure in 2016, Turner Field will be demolished as well.
“If they are Atlanta, then they should stay in Atlanta” said Justin Burress, when asked how he felt about the Braves moving to Cobb County. When told that the majority of ticket purchasers live in the Cobb County, he admitted that he is not necessarily a fan of the Braves or the sport of baseball, but was adamant in his assertion. Braves President John Schuerholz said in a recorded statement posted on the teams website, “We wanted to find a location that was great for our fans, makes getting to and from the stadium much easier, and provides a first rate game day experience in and around the stadium.”
Traffic getting to and from Turner Field has been a source of issue for many years, however, it seems that the location of the new stadium will also cause traffic problems as well. The new and unnamed stadium for the Atlanta Braves will be located at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285, at Circle 75 and Ridge Parkway. This intersection is a cause of much trouble for many residents in Cobb County and is avoided as much as possible. This fact would seem to be counter-productive to the reasoning that the stadium is being built. However, with the city of Atlanta being unwilling to provide the funds for $200 to $250 million in renovation moneys, the move was inevitable. Cobb County has promised to provide $450 million of public money for the project and with Cobb County being the center of the Braves fan base, executives and many fans feel that it will benefit the area. Others are not so sure however, such as Gerald Cruz, who stated that if it is going to be a “a major business move for (the Braves) then I am all for it,” however “The traffic is going to be a problem. They will have to build a new MARTA rail and bus system”. Cobb County has fought against the addition of a rail MARTA system for decades.
The new stadium is expected to hold 42,000 people and will provide the Braves with the ability to sell naming rights, which will help to cover the $200 million that the team will have to shell out for the stadium.
Written by Sherman H. Smith Jr (WAOK/Intern)