SBD/May 8, 2014/Facilities

Georgia State Univ. Eyeing Turner Field As Spot For New Stadium, Ballpark

Development around the park would include retail, residential and student housing
Georgia State Univ. is envisioning "re-purposing Turner Field into a 30,000-seat football stadium and building another baseball stadium that will include Hank Aaron’s wall as part of the structure," according to Doug Roberson of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The idea "is more than just stadiums," as school execs "want to be partners in building" an estimated $300M development that will "include retail, residential and student housing and will be paid for through a mix of public and private funds." GSU President Mark Becker said, "Georgia State has never had these sorts of facilities for its athletics programs. ... The program itself is on an upward trajectory." Becker said that it is "too early to know how much it will cost to re-purpose" Turner Field or build a ballpark. However, he "doesn’t plan on increasing student fees to finance the project." GSU and Atlanta-based developer Carter "will begin the process of due diligence in calculating exact costs for the project." Becker said that he "would like a new stadium, as opposed to continue playing in the Georgia Dome or the new downtown stadium that will open in 2017, because he wants to provide 'the real college football experience.'" Becker said that if GSU "reaches an agreement with the authority that owns Turner Field and the money or financing is available," ground "would be broken" in January '17. The stadium’s proposed design "would also allow it to host soccer and track and field" but not softball. Becker said that this proposal "doesn’t limit the work being done to raise funds to renovate the Sports Arena where the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball team play" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 5/8).
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