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Braves Join Falcons in Abandoning Perfectly Good Facility

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A tip for all Braves fans making the trek out to Cobb County for Braves games in a couple years:

If you ever take a trip down to Cobb County, GA, you better read the signs; respect the law and order; you'll serve hard times.

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So they got 30 years out of Fulton County Stadium, but two-thirds that from Turner Field.

They'll be in a new new ballpark by 2020 at that rate. Shameful.

Edited by RyanB06

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I haven't yet listened to their video explanation, but this baffles me.

First off, I don't understand why sports teams like being out in the suburbs. I kind of get it for football where some teams fan bases are so accustomed to tailgating that they need wide swathes of single level parking lots. And I understand in other places it just happens because it happens. But why do it if you can avoid it? Maybe I just feel that way since the St. Louis teams have always been in the city and in my era of watching, always been downtown. (The Blues used to play in a different part of the city, but they moved downtown when I was 6 or 7.) It just seems right to have teams downtown, or at least in a city neighborhood.

Secondly, Turner field isn't just adequate, it's nice! When I lived in Auburn, AL in 2012, I made it out to a couple of games. I'm not sure what the complaints would be. Nice visually on the inside and outside. Nice amenities. Plenty of space. Good views. I don't get it.

Admittedly, it doesn't seem to be in the best part of downtown, but those things are cyclical, and having an anchor tenant tends to help stabilize or bring things back.

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So they got 30 years out of Fulton County Stadium, but two-thirds that from Turner Field.

They'll be in a new new ballpark by 2020 at that rate. Shameful.

Actually, at that rate they'd be in a new ballpark by 2031.

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I've read about the not so desirable location of Turner Field. Is there any truth to that? By looking at the traffic flow on Google Maps, I can't imagine they will get more people to drive to the new location.

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I think the two big problems (Atlanta folks correct me if I'm wrong) are that the ballpark is in a "bad" neighborhood and that there is no MARTA stop right at the stadium. To get to the Ted, you have to ride into the Georgia State stop or the Underground Atlanta stop and then ride a bus to the stadium. It's not exactly the most user-friendly system right now if you don't live near Turner Field.

Plus, I made the mistake last year of going to the last Braves home game of the regular season (and parking at the stadium myself), which happened to be the same afternoon as a Falcons game and they both ended at the same time. Traffic was horrendous.

My brother who is an urban planner brought up a good point I haven't heard anywhere yet -- it's interesting how the Falcons chose to stay downtown and the Braves are moving the to the burbs; it really shows what the purpose of the new stadiums are for. The Falcons are purely building for the Super Bowl to be hosted in Atlanta again (in his opinion). The Braves are building to get the money/attendance from the families in the suburbs who don't want to go to downtown after dark with the kids.

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So they got 30 years out of Fulton County Stadium, but two-thirds that from Turner Field.

They'll be in a new new ballpark by 2020 at that rate. Shameful.

Actually, at that rate they'd be in a new ballpark by 2031.

Curse my fuzzy math. :P

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I think the two big problems (Atlanta folks correct me if I'm wrong) are that the ballpark is in a "bad" neighborhood and that there is no MARTA stop right at the stadium. To get to the Ted, you have to ride into the Georgia State stop or the Underground Atlanta stop and then ride a bus to the stadium. It's not exactly the most user-friendly system right now if you don't live near Turner Field.

Plus, I made the mistake last year of going to the last Braves home game of the regular season (and parking at the stadium myself), which happened to be the same afternoon as a Falcons game and they both ended at the same time. Traffic was horrendous.

My brother who is an urban planner brought up a good point I haven't heard anywhere yet -- it's interesting how the Falcons chose to stay downtown and the Braves are moving the to the burbs; it really shows what the purpose of the new stadiums are for. The Falcons are purely building for the Super Bowl to be hosted in Atlanta again (in his opinion). The Braves are building to get the money/attendance from the families in the suburbs who don't want to go to downtown after dark with the kids.

If that's the case then I hope you're right, because it would mean Atlanta is unique among the post-Camden parks and cities that currently host MLB in that the Braves would want to be in the burbs (where everyone else wants to be in downtown). And that they built their ballpark in a really bad, inaccessible part of town. On top of the already Atlanta unique issues of having been built as a 100,000 seat Olympic venue and then repurposed (and it does show when walking around Turner Field), and apparently having been built on the cheap since parts of Turner are quite literally cumbling off the sides of the place.

Overall though no justification the Braves come up with will sound like enough reason to replace one of the "new" ballparks when there are teams like the A's and Rays still trying to get into a Camden style park. Particularly when Turner's issues could be dealt with renovating for less than a quarter of their proposed Cobb ballpark.

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My brother who is an urban planner brought up a good point I haven't heard anywhere yet -- it's interesting how the Falcons chose to stay downtown and the Braves are moving the to the burbs; it really shows what the purpose of the new stadiums are for. The Falcons are purely building for the Super Bowl to be hosted in Atlanta again (in his opinion). The Braves are building to get the money/attendance from the families in the suburbs who don't want to go to downtown after dark with the kids.

Exactly.

If as a business, you feel you could raise your revenues by moving to a new location, you would, wouldn't you?

The Falcons are "abandoning" a stadium now regarded as inadequate for hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event. They want to host it. Thus, the facility they're in isn't "perfectly good."

EDIT: I've never been to either facility (though Turner Field's going to have to happen in the next three years, I suppose) but if Turner Field was built on the cheap, I wouldn't at all be surprised because, well, it's the Olympics.

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SMH nothing is wrong with Turner Field

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I haven't yet listened to their video explanation, but this baffles me.

First off, I don't understand why sports teams like being out in the suburbs. I kind of get it for football where some teams fan bases are so accustomed to tailgating that they need wide swathes of single level parking lots. And I understand in other places it just happens because it happens. But why do it if you can avoid it? Maybe I just feel that way since the St. Louis teams have always been in the city and in my era of watching, always been downtown. (The Blues used to play in a different part of the city, but they moved downtown when I was 6 or 7.) It just seems right to have teams downtown, or at least in a city neighborhood.

Secondly, Turner field isn't just adequate, it's nice! When I lived in Auburn, AL in 2012, I made it out to a couple of games. I'm not sure what the complaints would be. Nice visually on the inside and outside. Nice amenities. Plenty of space. Good views. I don't get it.

Admittedly, it doesn't seem to be in the best part of downtown, but those things are cyclical, and having an anchor tenant tends to help stabilize or bring things back.

I agree with both points. Regarding downtown vs. suburbs, I've been to both and I view the downtown experience as far superior...particularly when there is a nice view from the seats (e.g., Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota). In MLB, the suburban trend of the 50s through 80s was/is seemingly over. So this comes as a bit of a surprise. I think part of the issue in Atlanta is that population bases in sunbelt cities that have been growing so much over recent decades perceive (and maybe accurately so) difficulty in getting downtown. You can't pave your way out of congestion and Atlanta is perhaps the sprawinglingest metro in the US. Their fan base may (and I have no data to back this up) be one of the least-densely populated in MLB. And those super-wide freeways, which flowed so well for a decade are just as congested as they were before they were "improved."

The other thing, and I'll use an anecdote to illustrate my point, is the perception that a parking lot is a good thing. I recall being with a group of the "husbands" of my wife's co-workers...talking sports, and I was bellyaching about the Metrodome and someone said "yeah, and there is no parking lot." I let it go, but I strongly believe that it is MUCH easier to get out of town with parking dispersed throughout lots and ramps (and with a significant percentage of people using transit and not contributing to the congestion) than it is to get out of the two access points at a place like Miller Park. And I'd guess the average walk is not even that much longer. Nevertheless, people tend to perceive a parking lot as equating to convenience. I find them quite inconvenient.

As for your second point, I've been to Turner once. And I agree. There is nothing wrong with it. It's pretty much got the parking they'll have in the suburbs, and it pretty much has what you'd want out of a ballpark.

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You gotta admit the lighting sucks there though. Every game on TV looks dark.

Hard to believe but when this happens, the Phils will have the oldest stadium in their division and it's only 10 years old

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You gotta admit the lighting sucks there though. Every game on TV looks dark.

Hard to believe but when this happens, the Phils will have the oldest stadium in their division and it's only 10 years old

Given that other divisions have stadiums that are 50 or even 100 years old and are still more than adequate for their team's needs, it is pretty shocking that the oldest stadium in the NL East will only be 10.

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The other thing, and I'll use an anecdote to illustrate my point, is the perception that a parking lot is a good thing. I recall being with a group of the "husbands" of my wife's co-workers...talking sports, and I was bellyaching about the Metrodome and someone said "yeah, and there is no parking lot." I let it go, but I strongly believe that it is MUCH easier to get out of town with parking dispersed throughout lots and ramps (and with a significant percentage of people using transit and not contributing to the congestion) than it is to get out of the two access points at a place like Miller Park. And I'd guess the average walk is not even that much longer. Nevertheless, people tend to perceive a parking lot as equating to convenience. I find them quite inconvenient.

As for your second point, I've been to Turner once. And I agree. There is nothing wrong with it. It's pretty much got the parking they'll have in the suburbs, and it pretty much has what you'd want out of a ballpark.

This. Miller Park is SUCH a pain in the arse to get too and from if you don't have a car. Especially if you're not too keen on riding a shuttle bus with a bunch of obnoxious drunks. The city's "leadership" really dropped the ball when they didn't build it downtown, but they were hell-bent on pandering to the sensibilities of suburbanites who refuse to do anything in Milwaukee that's not geographically isolated from the rest of the city (see also: Summerfest) because downtown is SOOO DANGEROUS! The result is a ballpark that has all the logistical headaches of a suburban park despite being technically located within the city's borders.

Anyway, I'll only support a move to Cobb County if the Braves play this everytime they trot out a new relief pitcher...

...of if they move the Braves to Miller Park where they'd actually be appreciated, and move the Brewers to Cobb County. Most Braves "fans" are either too stupid or too yuppie-ish to know the difference, anyway.

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I think the two big problems (Atlanta folks correct me if I'm wrong) are that the ballpark is in a "bad" neighborhood and that there is no MARTA stop right at the stadium. To get to the Ted, you have to ride into the Georgia State stop or the Underground Atlanta stop and then ride a bus to the stadium. It's not exactly the most user-friendly system right now if you don't live near Turner Field.

Plus, I made the mistake last year of going to the last Braves home game of the regular season (and parking at the stadium myself), which happened to be the same afternoon as a Falcons game and they both ended at the same time. Traffic was horrendous.

My brother who is an urban planner brought up a good point I haven't heard anywhere yet -- it's interesting how the Falcons chose to stay downtown and the Braves are moving the to the burbs; it really shows what the purpose of the new stadiums are for. The Falcons are purely building for the Super Bowl to be hosted in Atlanta again (in his opinion). The Braves are building to get the money/attendance from the families in the suburbs who don't want to go to downtown after dark with the kids.

1. You're correct on both. Much of the area around Turner Field is pretty run-down. Of course the bill of goods the politicians sell people is that a new stadium will "re-energize" the neigborhood blah blah. Ironically, they used the same argument to sell the Georgia Dome and part of the story of the new stadium has been people around the Georgia World Congress Center area (where the Georgia Dome is) complaining that they're still waiting for the original Georgia Dome "re-energizing" to happen. :wacko:

So the Cobb County location will be in a nicer area but doesn't solve the MARTA issue. It doesn't go out that way.

2. Traffic is generally horrendous in downtown Atlanta so I can only imagine what that was like.

3. Your brother is smart.

My brother who is an urban planner brought up a good point I haven't heard anywhere yet -- it's interesting how the Falcons chose to stay downtown and the Braves are moving the to the burbs; it really shows what the purpose of the new stadiums are for. The Falcons are purely building for the Super Bowl to be hosted in Atlanta again (in his opinion). The Braves are building to get the money/attendance from the families in the suburbs who don't want to go to downtown after dark with the kids.

Exactly.

If as a business, you feel you could raise your revenues by moving to a new location, you would, wouldn't you?

The Falcons are "abandoning" a stadium now regarded as inadequate for hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event. They want to host it. Thus, the facility they're in isn't "perfectly good."

EDIT: I've never been to either facility (though Turner Field's going to have to happen in the next three years, I suppose) but if Turner Field was built on the cheap, I wouldn't at all be surprised because, well, it's the Olympics.

Yes, "now regarded." What happened since 2000 when the Super Bowl was in the Georgia Dome? And I would argue that the Georgia Dome is indeed "perfectly good" when considered in the context of cost vs. benefit. Paying $1.2 billion including $200 million of city money that could be spent on desperately needed improvements to (fill in any number of Atlanta inadequacies) for an arena to host an event that might come in every 6-7 years at best is foolhardy.

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I think Turner Field is excellent. I took a tour in 2011, never noticed anything crumbling, didn't get the "this was built on the cheap" vibe. The suites and club level are really nice. In fact, despite it being pretty spacious, it's one of the nicest parks I've been to. The team museum is fantastic, and it's awesome that the parking lot still pays homage to Hank's 715th. It's a shame they're leaving it for the 'burbs. Will definitely have to make a couple trips down there before the team leaves.

The I-75, I-285 intersection/corridor is a mess right now. Enjoy the :censored:ty traffic, Braves fans.

As an aside, I like the Georgia Dome as well. It's a beautiful structure.

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My brother who is an urban planner brought up a good point I haven't heard anywhere yet -- it's interesting how the Falcons chose to stay downtown and the Braves are moving the to the burbs; it really shows what the purpose of the new stadiums are for. The Falcons are purely building for the Super Bowl to be hosted in Atlanta again (in his opinion). The Braves are building to get the money/attendance from the families in the suburbs who don't want to go to downtown after dark with the kids.

Exactly.

If as a business, you feel you could raise your revenues by moving to a new location, you would, wouldn't you?

The Falcons are "abandoning" a stadium now regarded as inadequate for hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event. They want to host it. Thus, the facility they're in isn't "perfectly good."

EDIT: I've never been to either facility (though Turner Field's going to have to happen in the next three years, I suppose) but if Turner Field was built on the cheap, I wouldn't at all be surprised because, well, it's the Olympics.

Yes, "now regarded." What happened since 2000 when the Super Bowl was in the Georgia Dome? And I would argue that the Georgia Dome is indeed "perfectly good" when considered in the context of cost vs. benefit. Paying $1.2 billion including $200 million of city money that could be spent on desperately needed improvements to (fill in any number of Atlanta inadequacies) for an arena to host an event that might come in every 6-7 years at best is foolhardy.

What happened since 2000?

Reliant Stadium, Ford Field, University of Phoenix Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, and MetLife Stadium have all been built while Levi's Stadium and a new Vikings Stadium are under construction or being built now. Plus, the Superdome was renovated post-Katrina.

There's eight stadiums that will have hosted a Super Bowl since 2000 by 2016 and a ninth that is now entering the bidding process. The competition for hosting a Super Bowl has increased greatly since Atlanta last hosted the Super Bowl—to pretend that the Georgia Dome can really and truly compete with these other stadiums is foolish.

As far as cost vs. benefit of hosting a Super Bowl, I wouldn't be too sure. Hosting SB XLVI brought an estimated $176 million of direct economic impact to Indianapolis—right there's all but $24 million of your $200 million figure that the city would be spending and that's hosting the game once. Not to mention the fact that the new stadium will likely allow Atlanta to benefit from having an MLS team and the added revenue that could bring and if the US wins the World Cup in 2026, a spot hosting games in the world's largest tournament, I don't think this is as horrible of a deal for Atlanta as you're making it seem.

Additionally, hosting Super Bowl XLVI was a chance to showcase Indianapolis as a place to hold your "big event." Cities like Atlanta could use the Super Bowl in the same way.

EDIT: Also, Atlanta's definitely going to host a Super Bowl with the new stadium so I wouldn't say "maybe" every sixth or seventh year.

EDIT x2: Indianapolis and its surrounding counties payed $620 million of the $720 million total cost for Lucas Oil Stadium. So, yeah, $200 million for Atlanta isn't all that raw of a deal.

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