ATLANTA, Ga. (WHNT) – A big announcement came from the Atlanta Braves Monday morning. They say they plan to leave Turner Field after the 2016 baseball season and move to a new state-of-the-art ball park that is supposed to be ready for play in 2017.
The Braves are moving out of downtown Atlanta and into Cobb County at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Interstate 285.
In an interview posted on MLB.com from earlier today, Braves President John Schuerholz said the team’s 20-year lease at Turner Field is up in three years. He said they didn’t want to renew the lease because the need for a better, easier game day experience for Braves fans outweighed the cost of upgrades the stadium would need.
“We wanted to find a location that is great for our fans, makes getting to and from the stadium much easier, and provides a first rate game day experience in and around the stadium,” Schuerholz said. He also said, “We think this is going to be a remarkable, positive experience on all sides.”
Turner Field was originally built in 1996 for the Atlanta Olympics and seats about 50,000 people.
The new stadium will seat 42,000 baseball fans, and has a $672 million price tag. According to our news partners at AL.com, Braves executive Derek Schiller said financing for the stadium will come from the Braves and Cobb County government. The team says they plan on developing the area around the stadium to be a mixed use facility.
While the team says the move is closer to their fan base and makes the game day experience easier and more enjoyable, there is skepticism surrounding the exodus. How is the move out of downtown Atlanta making it easier on the fans? Why build a smaller stadium with less seating than Turner Field? Why move to one of the busiest intersections in the area? Why leave a field with so many memories and so much history?
We want to know what you think. Is the move from “the Ted” a good decision, or not? Post your opinion on our Facebook page, and we’ll share your comments on the news at 9 on WHNT 2.