More details are trickling in about the Braves sudden announcement they’re packing up the tent and moving from Turner Field in downtown Atlanta to a new $670 million facility in Cobb County. The move on Monday caught almost everybody in the sports world off guard, but it looks like the Braves had been engaged with the City of Atlanta for a long time about trying to squeeze more money out of the ancient Turner Field, which hosted its first baseball game in 1997.
Earlier in the week the Braves — on the website they set up to explain the move — claimed Turner Field needed in the neighborhood of $200 million in upgrades, which the team was unwilling to pay.
Late Thursday the Atlanta Journal Constitution obtained a document outlining how the Braves wanted to make $200 million through redeveloping the area around Turner Field. More than that, the team was very specific about how it wanted to go about doing so. The full story is behind a paywall on the AJC site but includes how the Braves didn’t want anything like liquor stores, tattoo parlors, pawn shops, etc. as part of the redevelopment under the premise it would be “vulgar” to fans.
As it stands the Braves are going ahead with the move to Cobb County, which will foot 45 percent of the bill. Perhaps this will be a tipping point for municipalities funding stadiums for professional sports teams since nobody in their right mind — except the Braves ownership group trying to make more money — would consider Turner Field obsolete.