Exterior photo of Turner Field. Former home of the Atlanta Braves.

Image Credit: Joseph Novak (CC BY 2.0)

Georgia State University has purchased Turner Field, former home of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves. The university plans to condense the former ballpark into a football stadium for the Georgia State Panthers football team and the capacity will be in the neighborhood of 25,000-35,000 seats. Since 2010, the GSU football team have been playing their home games at the Georgia Dome, former home of the Atlanta Falcons.

The area outside of the ballpark will also be converted into a mixed-use development complete with restaurants, retail shops, office space and housing. The entire area is currently known as the Carter and Oakwood development and construction has already began. Construction costs for the 68 acre plot is estimated to run in excess of $300 million by the time it’s finished. Georgia State University will also be constructing a baseball stadium for their baseball team and athletic offices after the development reaches it’s completion within the next two years. The overall goal is to develop and generate jobs for an otherwise underdeveloped area of Atlanta.

Carter USA also plans to lobby for a MARTA light rail stop to be built near the neighborhood; something that should have been implemented long ago. Although Turner Field sits not far from downtown Atlanta and downtown Buckhead, baseball fans had no way of accessing Turner Field by light rail; instead, having to drive and pay for parking in the stadium’s massive lots. To think that lack of access to public transportation didn’t have an impact on the Braves’ annual attendance would be naïve.

In fact, as someone that had seen several Braves home games at Turner Field, I got the vibe that the ballpark had never been “home” to the Atlanta Braves. The ballpark was very bland compared to other MLB ballparks and was originally built as a stadium to accommodate the 1996 Olympics. Although Suntrust Park will yield much higher revenues for the Atlanta Braves organization in the future, many Braves fans feel that the ballpark should have been built closer to downtown Atlanta. Stay tuned for our official review of Suntrust Park coming later this summer after we visit!




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