SBD/November 15, 2012/Facilities

Braves, Atlanta Mayor Plan Partnership To Develop Area Near Turner Field

Braves want to work in advance of their Turner Field lease expiring in '16
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is “attempting to put together a private-public partnership" through Invest Atlanta, the city’s development authority, to "develop the vast, vacant stretch between the state Capitol and Turner Field into a live-work-play area on par with Atlantic Station,” according to Jim Galloway of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. There are “substantive talks” underway with the ‘16 expiration of the Braves’ lease on Turner Field “in mind.” The Braves have “never been entirely happy there.” Braves Exec VP/Business Operations Mike Plant said, “As we sit here in 2012, this isn’t where we would have this stadium today. I’m not saying it’s a bad place, but it doesn’t match up with where the majority of our fans come from.” A converted ‘96 Olympic Stadium “kept the team downtown -- where they are likely to remain, given the current climate.” Circumstances have “locked the Braves into place,” and that leaves the baseball team and its owners “no choice but to build a better neighborhood.” Plant: “Now we have to create an environment like San Diego, Denver, Cincinnati, Colorado. They’ve taken challenged areas and used sports arenas for really improving, stimulating some real solid development.” Plant said that the team “first approached" Reed two years ago. The Braves “envision a partnership that includes themselves, the city, a number of private investors, and the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority.” The Braves “intend to use cash earned from their investment in the neighborhood to pay for improvements within Turner Field” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 11/15).
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