This young week has brought a whirlwind of information regarding the future of Braves home Turner Field. Monday, the bombshell was dropped that the Braves will leave Turner Field after the 2016 season to head into the suburban Cobb County. Just over 24 hours later, the Atlanta mayor already has a plan in place for the Turner Field (aka "The Ted") site.
"We're going to have a master developer that is going to demolish 'The Ted' and we're going to have one of the largest developments for middle-class people that the city has ever had," mayor Kasim Reed said (Associated Press).
Reed also told reporters that while the city wanted to keep the Braves, Atlanta was unable to take on the $150M-$250M debt needed in order to make the improvements to Turner Field the Braves were requesting.
This comes just a few months after the mayor approved at least $200 million in public money to help finance a new stadium for the Falcons (NFL) downtown.
Via the AP, here's the Braves' issue with the Turner Field area:
The Braves had made it clear for years they were not satisfied with Turner Field, located just south of downtown near some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. The team frequently cited a lack of neighborhood development, complaints about the closest MARTA rapid-transit station being about a mile away, and the inability to secure more parking spaces.
They'll definitely be moving to a more affluent area, as the median income level in the area of the new stadium is $61,000, as compared to $23,000 around Turner Field (with a nearly 40 percent poverty level).
More on the move, from the Braves official press release:
The Atlanta Braves organization has secured a large tract of property at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 and is working with Cobb County leaders to build a new world-class Major League Baseball stadium and integrated mixed-use development. The Braves will not extend their lease at Turner Field upon its expiration at the end of 2016.
"We believe the new stadium location is easy to access while also giving our fans a first-rate game day experience in and around the ballpark and making it a 365-day-a-year destination," said Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz.
The property, which has an Atlanta address and is located in Cobb County, has easy access to I-75, I-285, U.S. 41/Cobb Parkway and a variety of other transportation options. The stadium will occupy a portion of the site, with the balance being used for parking, mixed-use development and green space.
The estimated cost of the stadium, parking and related infrastructure is roughly $672 million. The Braves will be a significant investor, along with Cobb County, in the project. During construction of the stadium, more than 5,227 jobs will be supported, with a total payroll of more than $235 million.
The project will begin in the second half of 2014 and be completed in time for opening day, 2017.
For more, the Braves have set up a website for their new stadium: homeofthebraves.com.