Braves: Moving to Cobb County in ’17

ESPN, November 11, 2013

The Atlanta Braves announced Monday they will leave Turner Field for a new 42,000-seat, $672 million stadium about 10 miles from downtown Atlanta in 2017. It’s not clear how much the proposed ballpark will cost taxpayers.

Braves executives John Schuerholz, Mike Plant and Derek Schiller said the team decided not to seek another lease at 17-year-old Turner Field and began talks with the Cobb Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority in July.

Plant, an executive vice president of business operations, said the team has not signed a contract with Cobb County but that he’s “100 percent certain it will happen.” He said talks broke down with the Atlanta Fulton County Recreational Authority earlier this year over an extension of the team’s 20-year lease, which expires after the 2016 season.

The news comes as the Atlanta Falcons finalize plans for a $1.2 billion retractable-roof football stadium near downtown, which is also scheduled to open in 2017.

{snip}

Bucking the trend of teams pushing for stadiums and arenas closer to the city center, the Braves are abandoning a site just south of downtown that has been their home since the team moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee in 1966. They played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium through the 1996 season, then moved the following year into a stadium built across the street that served as the centerpiece of the Summer Olympics.

Despite its relatively young age, Plant said Turner Field needs $150 million in routine improvements and that it would cost $200 million to truly enhance the fan experience.

The Braves were frustrated in their efforts to acquire another 5,000 parking places and also complained about the lack of direct access to the MARTA rapid-transit system. The closest station is about a mile away, and most fans who used MARTA took a connecting bus service.

The Braves brushed over the fact that MARTA doesn’t even serve Cobb County, which has long rejected efforts to bring rapid transit to the suburbs and chose to develop its own limited, bus-only system.

The new stadium will be located at the interchange for two of Atlanta’s busiest interstates, I-75 and I-285, and the area has been plagued by major traffic problems for years–despite northbound I-75 being expanded as wide as seven lanes near the proposed site.

Schiller said the Braves plan a “circulator” bus system to get fans around the site of the planned stadium.

“We expect ease of access to be greatly improved,” he said.

The Braves immediately launched a website that said the suburban stadium would be closer to the geographic center of the team’s fan base in the city’s sprawling northern suburbs.

“The reason for moving is simple,” the team said in a statement on the website. “The current location has certain issues that are insurmountable and will only become more problematic over the years. These fundamental issues involve how you, our fans, access Turner Field. There is a lack of consistent mass transportation, a lack of sufficient parking and a lack of direct access to interstates.

“Furthermore, the Braves do not have control over the development of our immediate surroundings.”

{snip}

Plant said a major impetus for a move was the desire to build restaurants, retail shops, hotels and entertainment facilities around the new ballpark, efforts that never came to fruition at Turner Field. He pointed to amenities around new ballparks in Cincinnati, San Diego and Houston, along with L.A. Live, which hosts the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

The stadium will be part of a 60-acre development near Cobb Galleria mall.

{snip}

Now, the stadium nicknamed “the Ted” after its namesake–former Braves owner Ted Turner–could be headed for oblivion, even though it is newer than 14 of the other 29 ballparks in the major leagues. It hosted the 1999 World Series, 2000 All-Star Game and four National League Championship Series.

“It was with mixed emotions that we made this decision because we have many great Braves baseball memories,” Schuerholz said. “The new stadium, we believe, will be one of the most magnificent ever built. It will thrive with action and vitality 365 days a year, not just game days.”

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  • The national media are beside themselves trying to figure out why the team is really moving. As they rightly point out, the reasons the team is giving, traffic issues, relative lack of public transit, don’t hold up because traffic is worse at their new location and that public transit doesn’t go there.

    Well duh, that’s the reason. MARTA = Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta.

    • Sensitivity Training

      Undertow tows us under.

  • Pelagian

    “The Braves brushed over the fact that MARTA doesn’t even serve Cobb County, which has long rejected efforts to bring rapid transit to the suburbs and chose to develop its own limited, bus-only system.”

    Like St. Charles County in suburban St. Louis. Metrolink has been a great success, but the folks in St. Charles County still don’t regret voting it down. “Makes it just a little too easy [to get into St. Charles]”.

    • borogirl54

      The only buses that go into Atlanta from Cobb county are the Cobb County transit express buses that run during rush hours only.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    Well, looks like Whites like baseball, play it a lot, don’t care to spend money in Groidland, get bashmobbed either. Imagine…

    • borogirl54

      Or get their cars towed because they parked in the wrong spot.

  • Bobbala

    They may be incredibly slow, but give the Braves credit. Baltimore and Tampa will never learn.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Hey don’t forget the hellhole that is Jacksonville.

      • How bad is Jacksonville?

      • bilderbuster

        I know it’s a hellhole but it never had a MLB team so WTF?

  • dd121

    Why are liberals so oblivious to the obvious truth?

    • Sick of it

      Quite a few are not and still lie to your face about things.

    • Lord_Steven_Regal

      Oh, the Libs know why the Braves are really moving and many are screaming “Racism!”

  • Blue-eyed Devil

    Maybe the Braves will be forced to change their name. It’s not politically correct and upsets Tonto and company.

    • Sick of it

      They should change their name to Creek Nation, the Fighting Creek, or something along those lines, considering the history of the region. The current name is too non-specific.

      • Katherine McChesney

        The Braves fans chant during the game is rabidly anti-Indian. I found it highly offensive when I was there a few years ago.

  • JohnEngelman

    “The reason for moving is simple,” the team said in a statement on the website. “The current location has certain issues that are insurmountable and will only become more problematic over the years. These fundamental issues involve how you, our fans, access Turner Field. There is a lack of consistent mass transportation, a lack of sufficient parking and a lack of direct access to interstates.

    – ESPN, November 11, 2013

    There is also the issue of black crime, but that is the issue that cannot be named.

    • dd121

      Yep, it’s a parking problem.

      • JohnEngelman

        The problem is getting robbed walking from the parking lot to the stadium, or finding out that your car has been vandalized.

        • bilderbuster

          Or both.

        • JustAsianGirl

          Or homosexually assaulted by gay black gangbangers

    • Sensitivity Training

      Those disgusting racists in Atlanta should be arrested for hate crimes if they ever say the names of Julie Love, Eugenia Calle, or Brittny Watts.

    • bilderbuster

      I’ll bet if sweet little old Marge Schott were still around she wouldn’t pussyfoot around & say what every Braves fan knows but isn’t man enough to admit.

    • Pelagian

      Also known as Every Park in the Major Leagues before 1965:

    • Pelagian

      There is a lack of consistent mass transportation, a lack of sufficient parking and a lack of direct access to interstates.
      Translate: can’t get a train or bus often enough to keep from getting mugged, can’t park close enough to keep from getting mugged, and can’t get on the highway fast enough to keep from getting mugged.

  • Spartacus

    Cultural empoverishment strikes again…

  • Sensitivity Training

    As soon as too many, or one, comments gets posted that the move is to help protect Whites from Atlanta’s community of colorful Diversity, DOJ My People Holder will put an injunction to stop the move and open a never ending racism and hate crimes investigation.

  • borogirl54

    I venture to say that the majority of Atlanta Braves fans come from suburbia anyway. So I am not surprised that the Braves are going where their fan base lives.

    • The team is giving that as a reason.

      A red dot on this map is the home address of a season ticket holder.

  • longing4abetterworld

    WHITE FLIGHT! IT’S HAPPENING EVERYWHERE!

  • Jesse James

    We were just discussing yesterday how many cities are razing old buildings instead of refurbishing them because nobody wants to pour good money after bad trying to reconstruct areas that are still majority black. Forget about the traffic angle, if anything the traffic will be worse at the Cobb Country location. The Braves just don’t want to put hundreds of millions of new dollars into the present blighted area just south of the the city. Look at this on a macro-level, how much money, resources and talent has America wasted on areas that are blighted by black incivility. Turner Field is only 17 years old, surely a mostly concrete stadium could last more than twenty years? Fifty, maybe a hundred years? How many countless other structures, neighborhoods, schools and lives are lost, whose use and lifespan is shortened because we can’t maintain simple civil order in majority-minority areas? Do you know that the city and business leaders have sunk tens of millions of dollars into the area surrounding Turner Field trying to make it less blighted. It is always one step forward and two steps back.

    • Jesse James

      If you would like to read a detailed and pretty fair treatment of the long term challenges surrounding the stadium and the adjacent neighborhoods check out this article in Atlanta Magazine. “The Other 284 Days” gives a good history of the entire Atlanta baseball club experience with building two stadiums and struggling to relate with the neighborhoods surrounding the field. You don’t have to read too much between the lines to see how the team tried to buy the locals off but the grease only enriched a few savvy black business people leaving the majority of people in these areas discontented. In a way I can understand them, the massive stadium and the congestion it causes about eighty days in a year has no more meaning or relevance to their lives than if a giant saucer from outer space touched down periodically.

      http://www.atlantamagazine.com/features/2013/06/21/turner-field-development

      • It’s drop dead obvious. Fonda Field seems to be close to Downtown Atlanta, but it’s really not that close. In reality, it’s surrounded by your quintessential Bell Curve City. Now I think the team was hoping that there would be some signs of demographic change or gentrification of the area, but are moving to whitopia because they’re giving up on that notion.

        • Jesse James

          The thing that bugs me QD is that Cobb County is hardly a whitopia anymore. I mentioned this on another comment in this thread but as of 2012 whites are only 55%, blacks 26%. Hispanics 12-13% and Asians 4%. I wouldn’t buy a house there.

  • Jesse James

    This definitely isn’t the 1990s anymore, Cobb County is no longer a whitetopia, the white population is about 55% (not counting Latinos), 26% black, 12-13% hispanic, 4 % Asian. I wouldn’t buy a house there not less build a stadium.

    • Garrett Brown

      “This definitely isn’t the 1990s anymore”…

      Aaahhhh, how I wish it was. Man I miss the 90s.

      • Katherine McChesney

        I miss the 60’s and the 70’s. Everything was predominately white and blacks lived far from my neighborhood.

        • Garrett Brown

          It seems more and more like the 90s was the last great decade of our country. I personally would have loved to live back in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The music, culture, how we lived and worked together. We had advanced enough in technology to treat sickness and alleviate problems of every day life yet not to the extreme of always having our eyes glued to a screen of some sort. Everyone knew their neighbors and loved each other. It seemed from all the pictures I have seen and the documentaries I have watched, the books I have read that we were so proud of this country, a country for whites. If we encounter another great depression we would be completely decimated under social collapse. There is no cohesion or teamwork with diversity. We need to build a time machine Katherine!

    • borogirl54

      The minorities tend to live in the Austell and Smyrna areas of Cobb county. Whites tend to live in North Cobb County and the Vinings areas.

  • Nathanwartooth

    Why do the taxpayers have to pay for the stadium? Shouldn’t the teams, owners or people who go to the games pay for it?

  • dd121

    Mainly, I just want to know why they never traded Chipper Jones to Denver.

    • Guest

      Because there is no baseball team in Denver

      • dd121

        Yeah, we have the Rockies but you’re probably right. Seems our teams owners behave more like a St. Louis farm club.

      • Garrett Brown

        Colorado Rockies bud…

  • Viking_61

    This is EXCELLENT News. Black bastard mayor of Atlanta “Kasim” Reed is probably restarting his crack habit over this development. This is an economic harbinger all right, just like when Detroit lost a major ford plant to Dearborn in the 1950s.

    In 21st century America, even the “Braves” are guilty of fleeing the mudman.

  • Magician

    Well what about Comerica Park? ( Detroit Tigers ) It is located in the most dangerous and bankrupt city on the planet

  • Whirlwinder

    Braves fans are not stupid. No sane person wants to drive into the ghetto. Given the crime stats comming from inner Atlanta, it is surprising that there are many fans at all. Good business and life saving move for the Braves and their fans.

  • borogirl54

    Isn’t Jacksonville at least a good 6-8 hour drive from Atlanta?

    • Katherine McChesney

      Yes, it is. I don’t understand why Atlanta is being compared to Jacksonville.

  • Not only will the team take the tax revenue they generate with them to Cobb County, but the fans who eat at restaurants and go shopping won’t be doing this in Atlanta-Fulton, either. Another dysfunctional black city takes a fiscal boot right in the nads. Yaaay!

  • Katherine McChesney

    Underground Atlanta is filled with blacks wandering around. It is now a dangerous place to walk. Furthermore, the Braves chant is racist anti-native Indian. Perhaps Ted Turner should be confronted about that fact.

  • Sick of it

    They may be leery of moving into areas where white extended families live as opposed to a collection of helpless individuals ripe for the picking.