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The Braves are Leaving Atlanta

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According to the Daily Journal, the new stadium would be completed by 2017, and would be built near the intersection of I-75 and 285. That would put it in Cumberland, closer to Marietta than to Atlanta. Team officials confirmed the stadium would be built with some percentage of public funds.

Turner Field is what remains of the Olympic Stadium built for the 1996 Atlanta games. It was converted into a baseball stadium, opened for the 1997 season, and is somehow already the 17th-youngest ballpark in MLB.

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Turner Field is a facility that was built for three weeks of use for the Olympics, but has now served us well for nearly 20 years. The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years.

Turner Field has served the Braves well since 1997, but it is in need of major infrastructure work, which will cost around $150 million. These upgrades are functional ones, such as replacing worn-out seats or upgrading the stadium’s lighting, and they would do little to significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million.

Those upgrades still wouldn’t address the logistical challenges outside the stadium – lack of consistent mass transit options, inadequate number of parking spaces and limited access to major highways.

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