Braves Moving to Cobb County in 2017

Not Decatur per se, but wow. From the AJC

The Atlanta Braves plan to build a new stadium in Cobb County and move there from Turner Field at the start of the 2017 season, team officials said today.

203 thoughts on “Braves Moving to Cobb County in 2017”


  1. If the date had been April 1st I would have thought this was a joke. Dissapointing that there won’t be a public transport option anymore. Not sure those in charge of this decision have tried I-75 or I 285 in rush traffic!

  2. Inexplicable on many levels. Irresponsible, too. Hey, Atlanta: Time to go AL. The Rays and the White Sox would love to have that park…

  3. Turner Field is far from ideally located itself, but this sounds like a traffic disaster. Not a chance in hell I would drive to games there. Maybe this will mean the expansion of rail to that area, though.

  4. To me, half the fun of a going to a baseball stadium is taking mass transit to get there and being part of the crowd. The other half is the hotdogs and crackerjacks. Cobb County’s hotdogs would have to be darn good to pull me up there.

        1. It took almost 30 minutes for someone to play the racism card. You folks are slipping around here. We are going to have to step it up if we going to rival the AJC comments section for dismissive caricatures of people we don’t know nor agree with.

            1. I don’t think they did. They’re following the money. The cost of attending a game has priced most people in the southern half of the metro area right out of the park. The Braves capture and analyze ticket purchase data and it tells them their fan base is north, so that’s where they are headed. Whether or not it’s reasonable or desirable to expect them to factor in other considerations in that decision, e.g., the various impacts on the neighborhood they are leaving and the one they’re landing in, or the opportunities they might seize to play a role in Atlanta’s growth and evolution beyond simply maximizing their own profits… those are separate questions.

              In any case, I think nowadays many situations that we reflexively assume are racially motivated are really about socioeconomic class. The suburbanite who avoids taking MARTA can honestly say she’s not racist because in fact, it’s not black people she wants to stay away from, it’s poor people.

              1. I’m just not sure how much easier it makes things for fans north of the perimeter. Traffic is hell in that corridor. It certainly doesn’t make things easier for Gwinnett fans. I’d argue it makes it worse. As for us in Decatur, forget about it. I can’t imagine tackling that traffic for any reason but necessity, even if the tickets were free.
                That said, I have a feeling this is going to be used to bring in rail to that area. There is something missing from what we’re hearing today, and will come out later I think (see the Atlanta mag article I excerpted elsewhere which includes a Braves exec’s claim that mass transit is a must for the Braves future.)

                1. I also don’t see how it will make things easier for anybody. If the Braves really are chasing the ticket purchaser map they cite, then they working from a narrow and simplistic perspective IMO. It will only be easier to get to games for people already in Cobb, but it won’t be easier for them because their front yard will be gridlocked with everybody else. Plus, as others have noted, will Cobb Co. really embrace either the tax bill or the Braves’ professed commitment to bringing mass transit when they come?

            2. kind of curious if MLB will chime in on this move at all, given their recent push to re-establish baseball as a popular sport in urban and minority communities, for both players/little league and fans. Given a recent NPR story I heard about baseball’s aging and generally non-diverse fanbase (in comparison to NFL and NBA), and the fact that Georgia is projected to be majority minority within 20 years or so, if this is a good long term move for the Braves on the fanbase front.

          1. I hate it when race comes up. I really do. Especially because I don’t think we’ll ever be able to move beyond it if it keeps coming up. But it sure seems like it was a factor in this decision.

            1. So, who is the racist? The entire Braves organization? The same Braves who have been loyal to the city for 50 years despite being in a terrible location? Or the same Braves who employ hundreds, if not more, minorities from the local area to work at the stadium? Hell, isn’t Hank Aaron an Exec. VP of the Braves.

              Or, is it Kasim Reem or the Atlanta City Council who are racists? After all, they are “letting” the Braves leave?

              This isn’t about race, except for people who don’t know the definition of “racism” and/or think any action/inaction that they perceive might adversevely affect minorities is racist. This is about money, for the Braves, Cobb County and the City of Atlanta. This might be about allowing the Braves to put a better product on the field. But, those making the decisions are not motivated by race.

            1. That’s right. This has nothing to do with race, at least not directly. It has to do with money. Everything has to to do with money…or power.

            2. I would certainly agree with that. I would also say that there is an extreme lack of future vision in Atlanta.

          2. The race issue comes into play when supporters of the move to Cobb talk about the unsafe conditions at Turner Field. It’s classic Atlantan for “black people make me nervous”. There is hardly any crime at or around Turner Field on game days.

    1. I guess that’s true but I find the Braves crowds on MARTA to be totally diverse–as in there’s plenty of bleach blond white folks too. As someone who took the train in years past to Yankee Stadium and to Fenway Park, I’m convinced that that’s the only way to do it. I’m not driving in a minivan to Cobb Galleria to see a ball game. I won’t even go see the Rockettes when they’re here this time because their show is up there, not at the Fox. The Fox had the Radio City Music Hall vibe, Cobb Galleria doesn’t.

      1. I drove to Cobb Energy Center for a weeknight event once and the traffic was miserable. That was for an event with about 5000 in attendance.

      2. Agreed, AHID. The north snd south bound trains from Doraville and Chamblee are packed on game nights with fans from Gwinnett, the vast majority of whom are white.

      3. I was just saying that I don’t see nearly as many Atlanta Ballet performances because they moved out to Cobb County. It’s just not the same experience to go to dinner and a show, if the dinner choices are all chains and it takes 2 hours to get there. That’s not a fun night out for me at all.

        1. THIS^^^
          I used to go to the Atlanta Ballet as well. It’s not even a consideration for me now that they are at Cobb Energy. No decent restaurant choices and a car is the only way to get from dinner to the show.
          As far as the Braves moving north, I just don’t get it. Turner Field is beautiful, practically brand new, and perfect for baseball! I for one will not “brave” the traffic to get to a game if this move happens!
          It’s a shame. I think Turner Field is such a spectacle to behold on a game night, especially for travelers arriving from the airport and traveling up the connector. Even seeing it dark with no game happening feels like a “welcome home.”

    2. I don’t consider marta to a bus a viable mass transit option. I can drive to a game and park in GA AVE chinese place in 20 minutes. Taking the ‘public transit’ takes forever……

      Horrible they are moving to Cobb, have fun going to a 7pm game in rush hour…..pathetic ATL

      1. But it is an option if I know I am going to have 2 or 3 beers. From Decatur, it’s a straight shot to GSU station, then a 10 minute walk to the stadium.
        No waiting in the parking/leaving line, and much cheaper.

        Cobb needs transit, but the approval process then build-out will take at least 10-15 years IF they start immediately. Not gonna happen.

        1. What do you mean “if”. I think I was a teenager the last time I didn’t have 2 or 3 beers at the ballpark.

        2. Yes, one of the advantages of living in Decatur is relatively easy MARTA access to the stadiums downtown. Though the shuttles can be a pain in the butt, they still beat the hell out of driving and parking, imo. Of course, it helps a great deal that I can walk to the Decatur MARTA station.
          I don’t foresee ever attending a Braves home game once that convenience is gone, but I’m obviously not the target demo as I attend at most 3 or 4 games a year.

      2. Re “I don’t consider marta to a bus a viable mass transit option”: Do you mean to get to Turner Field? Isn’t that the slow way? I was taught by die-hard Braves fans that you take MARTA to the Georgia State station and then walk. 13 minutes on MARTA then 15 minute walk, no parking delay, no bus lines, no long elevator lines at Five Points. And coming home, you walk off those 3 beers and 2 hotdogs.

        1. I’ve tried that walk from Georgia State, but it’s not exactly pleasant, especially in the summer. If you get to games early, it’s not that bad getting on one of the shuttles from 5 Points.

  5. Atlanta lost an entire NHL franchise to Canada with almost no notice and certainly no concern from Atlanta government or local leaders. The Braves move 12 miles up the road and it’s the frigging Apocalypse.

    1. Hockey is a dud here. Heck,pro basketball barely scrapes by. The Braves are by far the most successful team on the field in Georgia sports history , pro or otherwise. Though that isn’t saying much.

      1. There are a lot of college football fans that would take issue with that assertion, GT and U(sic)GA alike.

        1. I’m sure there are, but if you count only the time period the Braves have been in Atlanta, they have had the most success. Granted, they have won it all only once (which I believe is the same total for UGA and GT, football and basketball combined, over the same period), but the streak of 14 division titles is something even the Yankees (the most successful sports team, period.) can’t match.

          1. College and pro championships aren’t exactly comparable. The braves compete against 30 teams while there are over 100 college football teams and several hundred NCAA D1 basketball teams. History extends beyond 1966. I do not understand the devotion to professional sports franchises that can & do move solely for financial reasons. I can guarantee GT and UGA (and their respective sports teams) will be here for another 100 years. And by here I mean Atlanta and Athens respectively.

            1. Fair enough, but college “powers” allocate around a third of their schedules most years to games against teams on whole other levels, games they have virtually no chance of losing. Pros play other pros every game.
              That said, I wasn’t talking about value or who was worthy of devotion, just on-the-field results.

          2. ” the streak of 14 division titles is something even the Yankees (the most successful sports team, period.) can’t match.”

            The only thing the Braves and the Falcons have in common is their chance of playing in the World Series..

  6. to me this just seems like something put on the table so that now Atlanta and Fulton Co. will pony up some improvements and/or cash flow to the Braves like they have done for the Falcons’ new stadium.

    1. Yeah, you gotta figure there is gonna be some backlash in Cobb over the public money that’s to be used. I think a lot of people, regardless of political persuasion, are sick of being forced to subsidize sports teams (especially historically lackluster ones)

    2. I guess I was wrong about Reed. He just issued a statement saying that Atlanta wasn’t willing to match Cobb’s offer and wished the Braves well.

  7. Not a big fan of this move. It will both leave a huge hole where it is now and make traffic worse at one of the worst interchanges in the area. Take me out to the sprawwwwwl game…

  8. http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2013/11/11/reed-no-way-braves-would-have-stayed-without-costing-taxpayers-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars

    Statement from Kasim Reed:

    The Atlanta Braves are one of the best baseball teams in America, and I wish them well. We have been working very hard with the Braves for a long time, and at the end of the day, there was simply no way the team was going to stay in downtown Atlanta without city taxpayers spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make that happen. It is my understanding that our neighbor, Cobb County, made a strong offer of of $450M in public support to the Braves and we are simply unwilling to match that with taxpayer dollars. Given the needs facing our city and the impact of Turner Field stadium on surrounding neighborhoods, that was something I, and many others were unwilling to do. We have been planning for the possibility of this announcement and have already spoken to multiple organizations who are interested in redeveloping the entire Turner Field corridor. Over the next three years, we will be working with our prospective partners to bring residential and business development that is worthy of our city and strengthens our downtown. Those conversations will continue and I am excited about how we use the land that is now Turner Field, to be a tremendous asset for our residents, our city, and our region for years to come.

    1. Somewhat of a tangent, but how in the world was this deal not leaked prior to today?

      – According to the above, City of Atlanta has already been talking to “multiple organizations” about redeveloping the corridor.

      – Governor Nathan Deal was made aware of it.

      – Liberty Media has been updated on it.

      – Cobb County and Braves officials must have been working on this for months.

      – etc. etc.

      Is this not a complete and total failure of the AJC to uncover one of the bigger and flashier stories of the year, right under their noses?

      1. You think the Mayor wanted to head into Election Day with this announcement around his neck? It certainly would not have cost him re-election but it likely would have diluted his victory somewhat and certainly created unwelcome distraction.

        1. My point is that there were likely hundreds of people who knew about this deal prior to 9 AM this morning, and word didn’t get out.

          Unless you’re insinuating that the AJC checks with Kasim Reed before running any stories. Which I can see happening.

          1. Certainly a failure by the AJC to report one of the bigger and flashier stories of the year. I wish I felt skeptical about the possibility that it was sat on ’til after Election Day. I don’t. You really think hundreds of people knew? Not more like dozens, maybe? I don’t know enough (anything, really) about how the upper echelons of the involved organizations actually work.

      2. “Is this not a complete and total failure of the AJC to uncover one of the bigger and flashier stories of the year, right under their noses?”

        Seems like it. But I also recall an Atlanta Magazine article from a few months back that detailed the history of Turner Field and its effect on the surrounding area. If I recall correctly, one of the Braves executives was described in the article as being determined to improve public transit access to Turner Field.

        1. This is from the article I mentioned above, an excellent Rebecca Burns piece from the July issue of Atlanta. The Braves executive referenced is Mike Plant.

          “Whatever happens, for Plant and the Braves, the top priority is reducing game-day traffic. Right now ticket holders arrive late—trapped in forty-five-minute bottlenecks as they exit the freeways—and leave games early, trying to beat the post-game crush. Having diversions for fans before and after the games would spread out arrival and departure times. To that end, Plant wants any development plan to include mass transit. And he doesn’t want it to include huge multistory parking decks. “Have you tried to get home after a Falcons game?” he said.”

      3. pretty sure what the Mayor is referencing re working on proposals for the area is the request for proposals to develop the sea of surface parking into deks and commercial buildings fronting the stadium. here’s another “what if the recession hadn’t happened…” because the City had initial requested proposals for that area back in 2007ish. We could be enjoying a mini-Wrigleyville, but instead get extra gridlocked 75.

      4. Now both the Braves AND the AJC will be up in Cobb County. I find all this flight from Downtown to the ‘burbs to be odd. Isn’t that so last century? Isn’t the trend for folks to be moving back Intown and revitalizing it? And meanwhile aren’t the suburbs much more diverse now? I’m confused,

        This seems like the equivalent of the New York Times and Yankee Stadium moving to the Catskills.

        1. The Braves AND the AJC have both abandoned the city itself (and honestly, everything south of Buckhead) to the wolves, and have cast their lot with the gated community crowd in the northern ‘burbs.

          To which I say “Bye, haters.”

    1. Problem is Braves fans only like the team when they win, while losers like the Cubs fill the seats every freakin’ game. Atlanta just isn’t a good professional-sports city.

      1. Part of that is due to the location and easy access to Wrigley for actual residents of Chicago. Turner Field, like it predecessor, is just a stadium in the middle of a parking lot.

        1. All of it is due to the fact that the Cubs rule!!! Win or lose, they draw.

          You’re right that it being in the middle of the neighborhood is a big part of it, but I also will never forget going to a Braves/Cubs playoff game in Turner Field and feeling like there were more Cubs fans than Braves.

          1. “but I also will never forget going to a Braves/Cubs playoff game in Turner Field and feeling like there were more Cubs fans than Braves.”

            To be fair, getting to the playoffs was rather routine for the Braves. While for the Cubs…

          2. They draw because the ballpark is tourist attraction.

            And all those Cubs “fans” are transplants who live here, don’t support the Braves, and dust off their crappy Cubs gear just in time to hit up the game at Turner.

  9. With this move to the burbs, I wont attend any more games. I am sure the folks from Cobb will be happy. Can’t imagine living in Gwinnett and making that drive to a ball game either.

    1. Uh, I’m not so sure they will be, actually. A large chunk of them, anyway. I grew up in Cobb, and my folks still live there. My office is walking distance from the new stadium site. Minimal taxes are a way of life there. And now they’re going to be asked to foot a half-billion bill for a new sports development that will make an area already known for nightmare traffic even worse? Yay?

  10. This is what you get with corporate ownership of pro sport franchises. There’s a lot you could find fault with in Ted Turner but he would not do this

    1. The sports guy on 11Alive just summed it up neatly: Arthur Blank was committed to keeping the Falcons downtown, so negotiations with Atlanta, though difficult, were possible; Liberty Media (owner of the Braves) cared only about the best deal.

      1. Another interesting comparison is Cousins and East Lake Country Club. What if the Braves had invested in the neighborhood around the stadium like Cousins did around East Lake?

        1. From what I understand, the Braves have little control of what gets done around Turner Field, as they don’t own any of the facility (one reason for the move, they claim). Also, they have no control over property owners keeping buildings vacant and making money from the parking instead, a long-term problem in that area that Atlanta failed to address.

          1. “they have no control over property owners keeping buildings vacant and making money from the parking instead, a long-term problem in that area that Atlanta failed to address.” — once again, all roads lead to planning & zoning. If zoning permits park for hire, then a land owner has virtually no incentive to develop their property as anything but a parking lot. If you don’t like the desert that surrounds Turner Field, then keep an eye on how the City of Atlanta handles zoning variance requests near the new Falcons stadium. At least one land owner is already seeking to overturn Historic Landmark zoning that prohibits park for hire, so he can turn his vacant lots–which he promised the community years ago would be developed–into permanent parking lots. (As things stand, he can get one-day permits and use the properties for commercial parking for any and all events. But if they get re-zoned to permit park for hire, then these lots will get turned into permanent parking lots, and nothing else will ever be done with the space.)

  11. We used to drive to the games and park in the lot of the nice Asian family, we knew them and their kids. I learned to keep score the old fashioned way and always bought a program just for doing so. This decision makes me sad, but I am fortunate to have the memories I have, and grateful that my aging parents are in no shape to go no matter where the stadium is.
    It is small and selfish of me to feel this way, but part of me hopes they move and live to regret it.

      1. Since we have gone there: What about the guy who won an election by pretending to be African-American? He is quite a sleaze IMO but…

        1. The issue here is not the candicate. This is a reflection of those who voted for him, on so many levels (and probably the best example in a long time as to why everyone shouldn’t be entitled to vote). It also is further proof that is ok to vote based solely on race so long as you are African-American. Can you imagine this story if the tables were turned and a white person publicly said “I wouldn’t have voted for him if I knew he was black”? Al Sharpton would already be trying to incite another riot.

          1. “and probably the best example in a long time as to why everyone shouldn’t be entitled to vote”

            Besides it, you know, being a basic civil right and all.

  12. If it’s true that it would cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to keep the Braves at Turner, then I’m with Mayor Reed. Use that money to revitalize downtown (or give it back to the residents and businesses of Atlanta). I know, I know, I’m being naive.

    To the Braves, I say “see ya.” Of course, I’m biased, since the lure of professional,sports escapes me.

    1. Hurrah for Kasim Reed? I don’t think so. The reason he can’t advocate committing hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the Braves in town is because he just gave Arthur a blank check for the Falcons new stadium!

      1. Well, I would say if it came down to a “which one can we keep,” question, I think he picked the right one. The GWCC/Phillips/Dome/CNN/Centennial Park area is a much better bet for the city. The area around Turner has never paid off.

        Now, with the move, I wouldn’t be surprised by a development push in that area with GSU helping develop the area. In-town is having a bit of a development boom right now (see Edgewood/Cabbagetown/4th ward, even Glenwood.) IF you look at the map the area just south of the GSU marta station could be prime development real estate.
        We’ll see…

        1. “Well, I would say if it came down to a “which one can we keep,” question, I think he picked the right one. The GWCC/Phillips/Dome/CNN/Centennial Park area is a much better bet for the city. The area around Turner has never paid off. ”

          Agreed. But from a commuter’s perspective, thinking only about traffic and the nature of the two sports( i.e. football mostly on weekends and baseball mostly on weeknights), I can think of few worse places to locate a MLB team. It would be much better logistically if the Falcons were moving instead of the Braves.

          “Now, with the move, I wouldn’t be surprised by a development push in that area with GSU helping develop the area. In-town is having a bit of a development boom right now (see Edgewood/Cabbagetown/4th ward, even Glenwood.) IF you look at the map the area just south of the GSU marta station could be prime development real estate.
          We’ll see…”

          Already Twitter rumblings of GSU buying or leasing it and turning it into a sports complex. Costs aside, it makes sense. Their football program would be much better served in a smaller, outdoor venue than in the cavernous Dome, and they could play baseball and soccer their too. They could also add more dorm space, and they already use the parking lot when the Braves aren’t in action.

          1. “Already Twitter rumblings of GSU buying or leasing it and turning it into a sports complex. Costs aside, it makes sense. Their football program would be much better served in a smaller, outdoor venue than in the cavernous Dome, and they could play baseball and soccer their too. They could also add more dorm space, and they already use the parking lot when the Braves aren’t in action.”

            Now that is an interesting idea. In addition to year round athletics, more dorms equals more bodies which could equal growth, both commercial and residential in surrounding areas. This could also help transform GSU into the university it wants to be. How to pay for it is another question.

      2. “The reason he can’t advocate committing hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the Braves in town is because he just gave Arthur a blank check for the Falcons new stadium!”

        And that is sad. One thing I have always liked about Braves games was that they could be enjoyed in person by those of all socioeconomic levels.

  13. Wow! The traffic up there is horrible. What bad decision for the city and the team. With no mass transit. Well, maybe Arthur Blank will put an MSL team in a stadium at the old Turner Field site!

  14. What exactly is the address there? Does this make them the Smyrna Braves, Vinings Braves, or the Marietta Braves?

    1. I believe the address is actually still Atlanta. But given the location, and to honor the late Pasqual Perez, maybe they should rename themselves the Circle 75 Braves.

    2. It is an Atlanta address (30339,) but much like our “postal-decatur” discussion it is “postal-Atlanta.”
      It’s really unincorporated Cobb as Brian says.

  15. Please dear God, not horseracing. I think I’d prefer weekly monster truck rallies. And what a blow to Azar’s.

    1. Read an interview with a state rep., a supporter of legalizing horse betting, and he claims the site isn’t big enough for a track and the stuff that goes along with one (stables, practice space, etc.).

  16. Bring back the Crackers!!
    Let’s see now , the Braves have continually drawn over 2 million people a year. What do you think they will draw in Cobb?

    1. seems the GM plant would have been an excellent solution here. they could have solved the parking/transit problem by moving to an area with actual transit. so one can only conclude that option did not come with $450 mil attached.

      1. The GM plant would have been a great spot from a MARTA access standpoint, not so much for cars. And it would cost a fortune to convert–far more than 450 million–I’d guess.

        1. They probably would have need another exit and/or an access road or two, but the GM plant is no worse than the Galleria for cars (and I live on the east side of town, I think it would be better).

          1. Oh, I think it would be a great location if costs and time (the Braves lease is up in three years) were not a factor. But I believe Doraville has jurisdiction there and lacks the resources to offer anything like what Cobb offered. And GM is not exactly giving away that site.

  17. I am disappointed because I love going to baseball games and I think it’s quite unlikely that I will want to face traffic to go up there. But actually I think this is a great opportunity for the city to improve that area. The question is what will they do? Will they tear it down (unlikely)? Will it remain and become a hollowed out eyesore? Probably.

  18. I’m just glad that Kasim didn’t try to pay the Braves ransom…bad enough with the Falcons deal. Let Cobb pay that bill…suckers.

      1. Seriously, it may be a boon for the Gwinnett Braves. Can’t imagine many people in Lawrenceville driving to Cobb Galleria.

  19. Too bad that the Braves didn’t join in the conversation when the falcons made their move. If Braves had to move from Turner Field, how great would it have been to have the stadium downtown next to the new football stadium- or even better, built on top of a demolished Dome. SO civically shortsighted of the corporate ownership. Please someone locally invested step up to buy the Braves…

  20. I am SO tired of the dog eared race card. This is about business and money. If trying to make a profit is evil (a surprising number of people think it is) than start your rant.
    Turner Field is an island to itself. The envisioned development in the area around the stadium never happened. Imagine the difference in customer traffic that a free standing department store in an empty field gets, compared to a store in a large shopping center. This is what the Braves organization is lusting after.
    Other cities have built stadiums in depressed neighborhoods successfully. But they didn’t stop development after the stadium was built. They redeveloped the entire surrounding area. Atlanta fell very short here. They expected the presence of the stadium alone would be the magic bullet. Wrong. The same scenario is playing out around the Falcons stadium, but Mr Blank is going to give it another shot. He is in a better position though, as he needs to draw fans about eight times a year, not eighty…as in baseball. Baseball stadiums need vibrant surrounding businesses…..restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.

    1. “I am SO tired of the dog eared race card.”

      +2

      Classicism, whether right or wrong, does not imbue the situation with the historical weight that racism brings to the fore.

    2. I’m really being serious and not trying to pick a fight here: Why do baseball stadiums need “vibrant surrounding businesses”? I would guess that most people come in for the several hours long game and that IS the outing. The bars and restaurants are, in effect, inside the stadium. I’m not saying that I think the surrounding neighborhood ought to be a Pit of Despair. I just wonder how much of a draw it is for people to go shopping or dining before or after the game.

      As to your earlier aside, I don’t think a “surprising number of people” believe that it is “evil” for businesses to turn a profit. I do believe that people’s eyes are being opened to certain corporate trends (such as the sky-rocketing CEO-to-worker pay ratios), and are questioning whether they are moving us in the right direction. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable dialogue to have.

      1. Ah shoot..I wanted to fight! 🙂
        Here is a short list of some great baseball parks, some built in what were depressed areas. They are doing quite well, thanks in part to the overall experience of attending a game in a stadium in a revitalized and interesting area. If you attend a game at Turner field, and then go to a game at some of these other parks….my point might be clearer.
        Marlins Park (Miami), PNC Park (Pittsburg), Coors Field (Denver), Camden Yards (Baltimore), AT&T Park (San Francisco), Fenway Park (Boston), Comerica Park (Detroit).

        1. Thanks, Bob and Brianc, for your suggestions. The article I can probably swing. The nation-wide tour of ballparks, probably not so much. 😉

        2. Marlins Park? Wasn’t their attendance absolutely pitiful (again)?

          At any rate, the Braves hardly had an attendance problem. They ranked 13th in MLB last year in attendance. The surrounding area wasn’t deterring fans from going to the games. And I do not beleive the Braves care at all about all the fans leaving “all at once” or post-game traffic. Post game traffic is bad at every stadium. The Braves care about ticket and beer sales, and they were doing just fine on those accounts.

          This is all about free money — in effect, the Braves ran a silent auction with local governments as the bidders. They went to the place where the politicians were offering the most taxpayer dough.

          1. Yes, this is about the bottom line, but I disagree about the Braves not caring about post-game traffic. They care b/c it negatively impacts the fan experience, which deters some people from attending, which of course means they make less money.

          2. “And I do not beleive the Braves care at all about all the fans leaving “all at once” or post-game traffic.”

            I doubt they care either, but it was still a good point they made. I’m sure some, maybe most, fans don’t care about what surrounds Turner Field, but I have to say I do. Going to games there is not nearly as attractive as some of the places Bob mentioned. (that said, no matter what nearby amenities the new stadium offers, it’s lack of transit access will keep me and I suspect many others away).
            I guess 13th in attendance is good, though some would disagree considering the Braves were division winners.
            You’re correct, though. It’s ultimately about the free money. But who would have though it would be Cobb offering so much tax-payer money?

            1. Division winners, yes, but still a mid-market team. 13th is pretty good when you consider that we’ll never out draw Boston, NY, SF, and places like that.

              1. If the stadium were located next to, let’s say, Crescent Ave. in Midtown, it would be far higher than 13th in attendence, and it would do much better in the more important luxury seat/suite market.

                You’re being unreasonably dismissive of two points. 1, that the Braves could improve attendance, and 2, that the location was not optimized to allow them to do so.

                1. I’m not saying it is impossible to improve attendance. I’m saying there is not a lot of evidence that the current location is really hurting it.

                  Keep in mind that Atlanta out-drew the Orioles and Pirates last year — two teams with precisely the sort of downtown stadiums everyone claims to love. Ditto for the Padres. And none had bad teams in 2013 — Baltimore had a winning record, Pitt made the playoffs, and the Padres were a shade under .500, but not at all terrible.

                  1. You’re comparing apples and oranges because you’re neglecting the overall market sizes for these cities – Atlanta is the 9th largest MSA and dwarfs Pittsburgh. And you’re being obtuse if you reject the idea that the Braves are not trying to increase revenues with this deal.

            2. What they did in Pittsburgh wasn’t just to enhance game-day experience. The Pirates worked WITH the Steelers, the University of Pittsburgh and city, county and state leadership to build a true destination… and before you site our divided government in Georgia, Pittsburgh did this in a time of a Democratic Mayor and Tom Ridge (Republican) was governor.

              They built a place that people come on the many days of the year that there’s not a game of some sort. Also, the teams share the revenue generated by the various restaurants, concerts, etc, thus improving their bottom lines. It’s a win for everyone. In other cities, teams share in civic pride and community. Here, it’s very often, everyone for himself. I have no idea if this same model could work here but I wonder if anyone even tried.

              1. “Here, it’s very often, everyone for himself. I have no idea if this same model could work here but I wonder if anyone even tried.”

                Never been to Pittsburgh and have no idea how it compares, but this city is very divided along class lines, both geographically and in other ways. The Braves have been in the position of trying to appeal to a fan base that is middle class and up and mostly lives to the north, while also trying to appease surrounding neighborhoods that are mostly poor. As is pointed out in that Atlanta article I keep referencing (I swear I’m not related to Rebecca Burns or employed by the magazine, but that piece deserves consideration for a Pulitzer), you can’t build places that sell craft beer and organic burgers and expect low-income people to support those establishments when the Braves aren’t in season.

              2. NewScott, that is exactly why I wish the falcons and braves the City all had had joint planning and discussions. Talk about destination area of those teams plus aquarium, world of coke, new civil rights museum, college football hall of fame and all those convention hotels right there… MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

        3. I can weigh in on one of your examples – Baltimore. Camden Yard is on the edge of the Inner Harbor area that was redeveloped beginning in the 1960s and was completely re-made by the time the stadium was built. The area to the south is industrial and not inviting. The neighborhood to the west (Pigtown) is much like Summer Hill except rowhouses instead of apartments and free standing houses. Fans leaving the stadium have options – all to the north and east.

          Turner Field’s location is much worse in terms of it’s proximity to the center city. There is no way that area was going to revitilize on its own. What I don’t understand is why the taxpayer is always called on to make the investment. Look at what is happening here. A perfectly good stadium is being abandoned. Cobb County taxpayers will come up with hundreds of millions of dollars. The corporate owners will reap greater profits. Wrong, wrong,wrong.

          1. “What I don’t understand is why the taxpayer is always called on to make the investment.”

            Because they are dumb enough to do it. When government is called upon to do damn near everything, it also does stupid stuff like this. Repeatedly.

            1. And the best part. The tax and spend liberals in this case are the Republicans of Cobb County!! Is that rich or what?

      2. institches,
        I strongly recommend reading Rebecca Burns piece about the problems around Turner Field. It’s online and easy to find. It’s a balanced article, and I think you will find that the issues are more complex than you might imagine.

    3. “This is about business and money. If trying to make a profit is evil (a surprising number of people think it is) than start your rant.”

      I have no problem with a business wanting to make a profit, however I do have a beef when they get public money ($450M) to help them make a profit. And, here is the kicker, they didn’t even have the balls to put it up for a referendum. Typical Georgia back-room politics…

  21. I was surprised by this announcement, but am not really bummed about it. We only attend one game a year. Really, there is nothing about going to the Ted that is really all that special *outside* the stadium. I’m pretty sure once you get parked at the Cobb stadium it’s going to be a much better fan experience. This is coming from someone who has wonderful memories attending a slew of games at the old stadium (1991 is still my favorite pro year of any sport). Not saying it makes financial sense, but I’ll certainly be curious to visit. I’d likely feel differently if I lived in this area and had season tickets.

    I used to own a condo right next to where one of the parking lots is going for the new stadium. I would be incredibly upset if I still lived there and realized what extra traffic is coming.

  22. ” Why do baseball stadiums need “vibrant surrounding businesses”? ”

    The Braves addressed this in their statement and it was one of the few things they said that made sense. If there is nothing to do before or after a game nearby, people all rush to leave at the same time, creating traffic jams. I think this is true, because in other cities I’ve been to (Denver is a good example), the baseball stadium is a part of the city instead of isolated from it. Even here, after a game in the Dome or Phillips, we will frequently walk over to Taco Mac for a beer instead of piling onto an overcrowded train.
    The new location will have these nearby opportunities; unfortunately, they will only be available to people who get to games by car (unless, as I suspect, this is a prelude to rail being extended to that area.)

    1. ” Why do baseball stadiums need “vibrant surrounding businesses”? ”

      I would change the question to “why do almost all baseball stadiums except the Braves have vibrant surrounding businesses”?

      It’s not that stadiums need them, although they certainly improve the experience. It’s that baseball parks generally spur a certain surrounding environment. I have been to many parks and have seen it at most of them – Wrigley, Fenway, Camden Yards, Petco, AT&T, etc. What many of these have in common is that they are not surrounded by parking lots.

      Atlanta city government could not solve the parking lot situation, and so the Braves are gone. I would expect that the Braves will position the new stadium in such a way that it is not surrounded by asphalt, but rather by development that fans would filter through on the way to/from the park.

      1. Though I agree with your points about the superior ballpark locations in other cities, I do think that Dem is right in that the public money offer from Cobb is what mattered here. If Atlanta had offered the same or better, I seriously doubt Liberty Media would have given a damn about the parking lots. That said, I do think the issue of control was important to the Braves, and based on some reporting I’ve read today Atlanta also did not want to cede control of nearby development to the team. Also, I’m assuming the Braves will retain all parking revenues at the new facility, and I assume Atlanta wanted to maintain the existing split that was part of the Turner Field lease.

  23. Everything in this state, county, country can always be about race. That’s what we do. We obsess about race at every turn and everyone has a fairly passionate opinion about it. Why are people so confused when it gets brought up?

    1. The only place that I know of in the U.S. that doesn’t obsess in one way or another about race is Vermont. Even North Dakota has issues about native American vs. not. In Vermont, it’s all about Canadians. They keep coming across the border and they speak French. We’re such a tribal species.

    1. Both signature Olympic stadiums will be vacated/torn down within a little more than 20 years of hosting the Games. And this is the story of Atlanta in a nutshell – it is disposable.

  24. We’ve heard a lot about traffic people will face when they are going to the games. Think about all the folks attempting to commute home to Marietta, Kennesaw, Acworth etc. from all points south, southwest, and southeast on game days. Baseball involves a lot of games. Traffic is already terrible for them. Aren’t these people going to revolt against the Cobb County Commission? If I were in that situation, I’d hope I could work from home 82 days a year.

    1. Strangely enough, people don’t always make the best choices for themselves. They’ll vote against their own interests just to support a principle (or delusion). It’s remarkable.

    2. Of course, you can add to the traffic concerns you mentioned the public money Cobb will spend on a stadium. That is sure to draw fierce criticism. Plus, there are already claims by some Cobb conservatives that this is a “trojan horse” to bring MARTA to the county. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in a county that overwhelmingly rejected the TSPLOST.
      Anecdotally, my wife works with several people who commute from downtown to Cobb and their initial immediate reaction, to a person, was that they would move if the stadium gets built there.

    3. One of my Cobb friends has a family/kids blog with 5000 subscribers in that geographic area- most of the comments were unsupportive solely due to the traffic nightmare. One who would live 1.5 miles from new stadium says it will likely take her longer to get in and out of the new stadium.

  25. Daydreamer says: “Everything in this state, county, country can always be about race. That’s what we do. We obsess about race at every turn and everyone has a fairly passionate opinion about it.”
    This may be true. But this statement makes me very…. sad.

  26. Quote from Cobb County GOP Chairman, as reported by Jim Galloway:

    “It is absolutely necessary the solution is all about moving cars in and around Cobb and surrounding counties from our north and east where most Braves fans travel from, and not moving people into Cobb by rail from Atlanta.”

    So, in other words, screw Atlanta Braves fans who actually live in Atlanta, and screw people who commute between Cobb and Atlanta for work.

    1. “So, in other words, screw Atlanta Braves fans who actually live in Atlanta, and screw people who commute between Cobb and Atlanta for work”

      That is ridiculous. They are prioritizing funds to where the majority of traffic will come from, and how they will get there (here is a hint – it is largely in cars, and it is largely from the burbs). Get off your idealistic high horse and realize that you live in Atlanta where public transit has always been and probably always will be lacking. As a taxpayer (although not one in Cobb), I would be pissed if they were diverting funds used to improve game day traffic to public transit just so some ________ from Decatur would have an easier time getting to the game. When the market changes, the money will follow. Besides, they aren’t preventing you from going to the game, and I am sure they are deeply sorry if it is a little more inconvenient for you.

      1. But it’s fine to spend tax money on the stadium itself, just not anything connected to public transit? I believe that guy and others like him would object to rail connecting Atlanta to Cobb even if the Braves paid for every damn bit of it, because, to paraphrase you, they don’t want some ______________ from Decatur (or Atlanta) having an easier time getting to their county.

        1. “But it’s fine to spend tax money on the stadium itself, just not anything connected to public transit? ”

          Yes. You aren’t entitled to public transit to the game. If you don’t like it (or more accurately if Cobb Co. residents don’t like it), you can speak up and/or vote.

          1. Just so I’m clear on your opinion, the Braves are “entitled” to tax money for a stadium, but commuters are not entitled to public transit?
            Oh, and I seriously doubt Cobb residents will get to vote on this. The deal wouldn’t have been made because it would almost certainly fail to get voter approval.

            1. I so hope it is put to a vote, if only so we can see the “Vote YES” ad campaign backed by a paraphrased John Fogerty: “Put me in Coach, I’m ready to pay today!”

            2. You aren’t clear at all. The Braves aren’t entitled to anything. The elected offcials of Cobb County are choosing to give it to them (err, invest in the stadium and development). You just seem to think that Cobb officials are out to screw you b/c they didn’t think about your desire for public transit to a sporting event.

              1. I didn’t say anything about them screwing me: I don’t live in Atlanta, and don’t go to enough Braves games to really care anyway. But it is comical to observe their hypocrisy when it comes to tax dollars for public transit versus sports.

                1. I am not trying to be argumentative with this comment, but I don’t think it is hypocritical at all. They are spending their tax dollars on things they want and/or things they think will benefit the community. In this case, it is a Braves stadium. If they valued public transit the same as you do, they would spend it on transit.

          2. This mindset is at odds with the reasoning offered by the Braves for why they are leaving. They stated that lack of transit is one of the major reasons for the move. It’s baffling that they would lie so openly, but that is exactly what they said.

            1. Maybe they aren’t lying though. Politicians can say whatever publically, but they and the Braves may know full well that rail will eventually be brought in, especially if traffic worsens in that area on game nights (and of course it will). Remember, the business community in that part of Cobb wants public transit. Maybe those “crazies” in Cobb complaining that this deal is a trojan horse to bring in rail are actually right.

              1. The lie is not that there won’t be transit to the new stadium. The lie is that there currently is not transit access to Turner Field. MARTA rail doesn’t go right to Turner’s front door, but it is an easy walk for any able bodied person.

          3. If the stadium connects to any type of public right-of-way, then I don’t think this argument holds up. The Braves are planning to build a facility to which they will invite the public. It is incumbent upon the leaders of Cobb County and the Braves to ensure that its construction does not create an unsafe burden on the travelling public and to look at all feasible options to get the public in and out. I’m not saying they must spend money on “public transit” (insert your definition), but there should be a give-and-take if they are requesting public funds.

    2. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if Cobb politicians themselves queer this deal by behaving/speaking in a manner so politically incorrect and distasteful that the Braves decide it’s actually disadvantageous to be associated with them. There’s certainly precedent…

      1. “Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if Cobb politicians themselves queer this deal by behaving/speaking in a manner so politically incorrect and distasteful that the Braves decide it’s actually disadvantageous to be associated with them. There’s certainly precedent…”

        There certainly is. And they can’t like that the mayor of Atlanta is calling them “more liberal than Atlanta” when it comes to spending for this deal.

        1. Yeah, Reed knows how the game is played. It will be interesting to see as this goes forward how Atlanta politicians try to make Cobb folks think twice about what they are buying.

  27. They didn’t even consider the old GM site, which has mass transit and is more centrally located. I’m betting they knew DeKalb would never have given them any subsidies. Sigh. My son is 18 and will be off at college, but will have plenty of Ted games before this happens.

  28. As of last year, it was rumored that GM wanted 60 million for the site. The environmental clean up was estimated at as much as 20 million (that sounds low to me). It would probably take another 20 million for necessary road improvements. That’s 100 million before the plans are even drawn up for a stadium. The Doraville site is an interesting one, but I think it will be better served by development that will truly see 365 days of use. I could see soccer playing a role there, but what I think would be great to see is a development that plays on the international food culture there somehow, in terms of a retail theme. And of course it makes sense to have residential there given its proximity to the Doraville MARTA station. That said, the residential area around the Chamblee station has struggled to bloom, though there are some interesting things planned for that area. It seems to me Chamblee could be a popular, more affordable alternative to Midtown for young singles.

    1. I agree the environmental costs sound low. I have always assumed that site is heavily contaminated.

      Here is a question that neither you nor I can answer. Why is so much intown growth targeted at young, presumably single professionals? Look at Brookhaven. It has a strong singles scene, and at the same time, many of them are staying when they get hitched and start reproducing. I know several people who bought their first home there after they got married. My (older) boss moved there a few months back and has remarked on more than one occassion at the number of kids at every restaurant he enters. Just seems to me that these areas need to target not only single. professionals, but also young families. Young neighborhoods will eventually become established neighborhoods.

      1. You answered your own question. If what you say is true, then why invest in “targeting” families? Attract young singles who will settle and remain, and they will evolve into families and attract other families.

        1. Of course, in an area like Midtown, I’d assume the population doesn’t necessarily age so much as it is replaced by the next group of young singles. The people I know who live in Midtown condos are in their late 20s or early 30s. One of them recently got married (he’s in his late 30s) and moved to the burbs and is renting his place to a 20 something.

      2. I think it’s maybe because single professionals will take a chance on a place that doesn’t have tip-top schools or the exact things that families might wish for?

        Single professional likes the “hip” scene and rents an apartment…then works hard and makes money…finds a gal/guy…saves up for down payment…buys a home…has kids…sends kids to schools…complains about taxes…Success!

        1. “I think it’s maybe because single professionals will take a chance on a place that doesn’t have tip-top schools”

          That’s a big one.

      3. “Why is so much intown growth targeted at young, presumably single professionals?”

        It’s an interesting question. I think the answer partly lies in demographic changes. Young professionals are foregoing or delaying marriage and childbirth and having fewer children when they do.. Also, it’s presumed that young singles are likely to be more willing and able to part with disposable income for drinks and dinner out, entertainment, etc. than families. Of course, the recession has put a damper on young singles’ spending, at least in terms of spending for housing. I assume that is what your question is primarily about. Are you saying there were too many condos built? Hard to argue with that, though there does appear to be a rebound happening now. The example you gave, Brookhaven, does have a lot of single family homes compared to further intown, but what else about it would appeal to families?

  29. I have not been to a Braves game in years because of the lousy game day experience, but it has nothing to do with the location of the stadium.

    The truth is, going to a game costs a fortune – ticket, parking, beer, food – and the whole time I feel bombarded with advertising, promotions, and to quote the grinch. “Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!

    When I went to games in Yankee Stadium as a kid the only sound other than the game was the organ prompting us to yell “charge.” Going to a game was a zen experience.

    I’d like to know who besides the wealthy, self employed, or sales guy with a hefty expense account has either the time and the money to attend 81 home games per year.

    The truth is with the home watching experience getting so much better with large HD TVs the MLB teams have no idea how to draw in more game-day fans for a sport declining in popularity.

    This is a gamble, and the Mayor was right not to spend taxpayer money.

    I for one will enjoy the extra half hour a day with my family due to the traffic-free connector all summer.

    Bah humbug. Go Whiteskins!

    1. A family outing to the Braves game can be very economical – cheaper than a movie trip. The Ted allows food and non-alcoholic drinks to brought in from outside. There are ticket deals all the time – two for one games, a staggered pricing plan for seats, etc. Park just one extra block away and the price drops to $5.00. We use a very secure church lot on the west side of the interstate where the church member attendants stay on duty until after the game and even after fireworks and concerts.

      I can have a great time in upper level seats behind home plate and my soft side cooler for less than $15.00 per person.

  30. The biggest mistake the Braves ever made was not working out a solution to get a Marta train stop at Atlanta Fulton County stadium. Not to get started on a rant about Marta being poorly set up in general, but the biggest complaint I hear about Braves games is getting to/from them. If there was an efficient rail setup, this would never have been an issue and I’d be willing to argue that the Braves would have a top 10 attendance record year in and year out.

    Turner Field is, I believe, the third biggest stadium in MLB at just over 50k with standing room full. Most stadiums are in the high 30’s to low 40’s for capacity, so it’s a very big stadium for baseball. I don’t think there’s any reason that with a Marta stop there, they wouldn’t be able to raise their attendance by an avg of close to 10k a game, but unfortunately it’s too late for that. I know I’d go to many more games if I didn’t have to drive. The Marta stop at Phillips/CNN Center is incredibly convenient for games/events there.

    The new stadium is supposed to be around 41-42 I believe, so it will be interesting to see what the attendance is like. As for the race issue, if you’ve seen the map of season ticket holders, you’ll know why the Braves decided to move, especially if Cobb County is going to give them upwards of $500 million for a brand new stadium/parking that the Braves have total control over. It’s got nothing to do with race. It’s all about moving their stadium closer to the season ticket base. I’m not really sure how they plan on handling traffic up there, but if they don’t make some major improvements, I can’t imagine it will be anything but horrible gridlock for weeknight home games. I can only assume they’ve taken that into consideration.

    1. I am not sure this is a true story, but…I remember reading/hearing/whatever that the Atlanta city council purposely did not route MARTA near the Fulton County Stadium (where Turner Field is now) because they wanted to protect the revenues that the city would be getting from parking at the stadium. I actually hope someone will tell me this is not true…..it is too disappointing a story even for a cynic like me.

      1. Disappointing, truly. But given how valiantly they had to struggle to get MARTA off the ground at all, it’s not surprising if that is one of the concessions that had to be made.

    2. Cost me around $10 all-in to attend most of the Braves games this season, parking, food, drink, and a program. Doesn’t get much more zen than watching the Braves at the Ted on a perfect summer night with the skyline against a backdrop that fades from blue to orange to black. Perhaps the Galleria Mall and the hum of the Perimeter will enhance my “fan experience.” I may never know.

  31. ” I’m not really sure how they plan on handling traffic up there, but if they don’t make some major improvements, I can’t imagine it will be anything but horrible gridlock for weeknight home games. I can only assume they’ve taken that into consideration.”

    I worry that if they had actually done this, they would be telling people. Have you heard any claim that it has at least been addressed?

    1. No. And the fact that GDOT’s reaction to the news was effectively, “Say what now?” tells me any thought given to transportation by the Braves or Cobb officials was purely wishful thinking.

      Yes, the Braves have been flogging that bloody map all over the place, but I’ll tell you one thing: A season or two of trying to navigate the traffic hell that will envelop a stadium in that location and the overall negative fan experience stemming from that is going to lead to a pretty steep decline in season ticket subscriptions. Even just taking the northside into account, people coming from anywhere east of say, Roswell Rd., are going to think twice about going again, much less buying season tix. Sorry, Gwinnett. Hell, even getting there down 75 will be a cluster, as it already is.

      1. “A season or two of trying to navigate the traffic hell that will envelop a stadium in that location…”

        Scary to think we both have the same profanity in mind to describe the ensuing calamity. Being the erudite guy that I am, 😉 I suggest the term FUBAR will be used to describe the thought process of whomever came up this idea for many years to come.

  32. Just heard where the public share of the $$ will come from. You know those toll booths they’re dismantling on GA 400? Cobb County bought them to install on I-75. They’re still deciding whether to install them just across the river or farther out, just past 285.

    1. I can’t tell if you’re joking or not. If not, I can hear torches being kindled and pitchforks being sharpened up in Cobb as we speak.

    2. I’d also bet that the Braves will run shuttles, from Five Points or maybe Arts Center, that will travel on HOT lanes up 75.

      1. Shuttles from Lindbergh could offer connections to CCT… which might turn out to be the fastest and easiest way to get to a ball game if you start out in Cobb.

  33. I’m surprised this hasn’t been brought up already, but wouldn’t this move be an economic net positive for Atlanta ?

    Turner Field and its parking lot is in a prime location, yet that location is only used for economic activity approximately 80 (half) days a year, i.e. about 40 economic “days” total. On non-game-days, Turner Field and its parking lot is an economic dead-zone, not too dissimilar from an abandoned factory.

    Imagine if an entire business district was only open for business less than 1 day a week. Not a good use of land space, right ?

    Also, how much money do Braves fans spend in Atlanta outside of the stadium ? A pittance.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to the move and the redevelopment possibilities of Turner Field and its parking lot. If Atlanta plays its cards right, we could be looking at an appreciable economic boost to downtown.

    1. The question is what would attract people to live in that area? How is nearby Glenwood Park doing in terms of drawing residents? If it’s struggling, why would this area be better? I too would love to see that area redeveloped in the manner the mayor is promising and agree that it would be an improvement over the current usage. But I’m skeptical to say the least.

  34. I’d say this is far from a done deal…when the voters of Cobb Country realize that monies that would have spent on country services and infrastructure long are instead going support a team owned by a fellow worth 6 billion dollars, they will revolt. Expect some recall elections to get started today!

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