ATLANTA (AP/WVLT) — Atlanta's mayor says the city will demolish Turner Field after the Braves leave for a new stadium in the suburbs in 2017.
Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday during a press conference that the stadium will not be left vacant after the team starts playing at a new field in Cobb County.
Reed says the land will be used to create a development for middle-class people.
Reed also says that Atlanta had hoped to keep the team in the city but could not afford to do so. He says the city would have had to take on $150 million to $250 million in debt to make the improvements the Braves wanted at Turner Field. He said that doing so would not have allowed the city to accomplish other goals.
The Atlanta Braves will relocate to a "world-class stadium" in Cobb County for the 2017 season, the team announced. The Marietta Daily Journal first reported the news.
Turner Field opened in 1996 as the centerpiece of the Summer Olympics. The Braves began playing there in 1997 after it was been converted into a baseball facility. The team's 20-year lease agreement expires following the 2016 season. Here's more from Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Braves executives John Schuerholz, Mike Plant and Derek Schiller said the new ballpark will be built near the intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the Galleria/Cumberland Mall area. They said the team has “secured” 60 acres of land for the project.
The Braves said the project will be built in partnership with Cobb County. They indicated that Cobb County would provide public funds toward building the stadium but declined to provide details on that.
The Braves have played in downtown Atlanta since 1966, when they moved from Milwaukee. Turner Field replaced Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and is already the 17th oldest ballpark in MLB. The team was able to keep this story remarkably quiet.