Veterans Day is proving to be a huge surprise to the Atlanta Metro. Today, the Atlanta Braves announced they would build a new $672 million stadium in Cobb County. The stadium is being built with the Atlanta Braves and Cobb County in a partnership. The team has secured approximately 60 acres of land for the project. And the stadium will be built at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the Galleria/Cumberland Mall area. This is in the same area where the headquarters of The Weather Channel is at. I guess they might be getting to see some baseball.
The new stadium is going to be 13 miles away from Turner Field. And this stadium is going to be located in one of the worst traffic choke points in the Atlanta Metro. Ever try to travel along Interstate 75 or Interstate 285 in North Atlanta during rush hour? Yeah, you are not going to go fast. And this area has very few mass transit options. Cobb County does run a small mass transit bus system. But MARTA will be nowhere close to this new stadium. My question is this, will this new stadium allow MARTA to expand into this area. Because I am not going to sit in traffic to see a Braves game. By the way, this news was surprising to the Georgia Department of Transportation. I am sure they are thrilled with this news!
The Braves claim this is a map of local Braves fans, based on ticket sales. They say they are wanting to make this move so they can be closer to their fanbase. As you can see, yes the North Atlanta metro has a lot of ticket buyers. But there are ticket buyers all across the Atlanta Metro. What about the people in Peachtree City, they are going to have to travel further to get to a Braves game. I am sure they are not happy with this news.
For nearly 20 years, Turner Field, originally built for the 1996 Olympic Games, has been supposed to bring together the South Atlanta area and it has been a good thing for its immediate area. The area surrounding Turner Field is doing very well, but go a few blocks south of the stadium, and you go back about 50 years. The area has a Federal Prison, and a poor neighborhood. I am guessing the Braves don’t feel safe in their current location. But crime can happen anywhere you go! The move means the Braves are no longer a part of the sub-community they’ve been a part of since moving to Georgia in 1966. That is bad folks.
Cobb County is the richest county in the Atlanta Metro. Many people will commute long distances just to get to work. That’s why the I-75/I-285 area is one of the worst traffic chokepoints in America. The Braves say traffic is the number one reason fans don’t come to the games. What were they thinking moving to this location? This area has WORST traffic than their current location at Turner Field. The Braves also plans to sell naming rights to the new stadium. How much are you willing to bet the new stadium will either be named by Coca Cola, The Home Depot, Delta, or Chick-fil-A?
The Atlanta Braves decided to move because Turner Field needs around $150 million in infrastructure work. And they say the current stadium lacks good mass transit options? So moving to an area with even worst mass transit options is going to be good for the Braves? The Braves are about to move to an area which will have the worst mass transit options in all of Major League Baseball. I guess this move is re-enforcing the notion that you must have a car in the Atlanta Metro to get anywhere.
So what do I think of this move? I think this move is a HUGE waste of money for the Braves. Many people commenting on social media agree with me on that statement. The Braves are going to spend close to a billion dollars to build a stadium with 10,000 fewer seats along the worst traffic point in the Atlanta Metro with few mass transit options. Yeah, that’s going to go over well! How about the Braves do this instead. Learn how to win in the playoffs before you build a brand new stadium! Each year, the Braves have a hot team and somehow they choke before the playoffs. If they make it into the playoffs, they are eliminated quickly.
This new location is not going to make me more likely to go to a Braves game. This new stadium will be one of the furthest stadiums away from a downtown area in all of Major League Baseball. MLB encourages all teams to have a stadium near a downtown area, it’s a major tradition in the game. The Atlanta Braves are about to take that tradition and shove it down the drain. If the Braves needs some inspiration on how a downtown stadium can make a downtown area better, have a look at Regions Field in downtown Birmingham. Since opening this year, it has broken attendance records and has won numerous awards.
Come on Atlanta Braves, have a look at the Atlanta Falcons. Who are planning to build a new stadium in the downtown area. They have it right, and you have it wrong! This move is a slap in the face for Major League Baseball. And a slap in the face for the fans of the Atlanta Braves. So what should we call the Braves now? The Marietta Braves, the Smyrna Braves, the Cobb Braves, or the Cumberland Braves? Because they won’t be the Atlanta Braves.
If you want to learn more about the new stadium, go to: http://homeofthebraves.com/
- More: Atlanta Braves say new stadium projected to cost $672 million; not clear how much organization will pay – @ajc (ajc.com)
- Braves to relocate to new ballpark in Cobb County for 2017 season (cbssports.com)
- Are the Braves moving out of Atlanta? (breslanta.com)
- Braves plan to move out of Atlanta, build new stadium (timesfreepress.com)
- Mayor: Atlanta unwilling to match offer for Braves (onlineathens.com)