Turner Field Unveiled As Football Stadium For First Time; Georgia State Making Debut Aug. 17
Turner Field is now Georgia State Stadium, and the school's football team will make its "debut by hosting" an open scrimmage on Aug. 17, according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Vestiges of Turner Field yesterday "couldn’t be missed -- the original Hank Aaron statue still in its familiar location; the massive video board still in the same place as before, now the eighth largest video board in college football; the familiar blue seats still in use; baseball decor still on some walls." The Chop House restaurant/bar and the 755 Club have been "renamed the State House Grill and the University Club." What "used to be home plate is now an end-zone corner." The first seven rows of seats have been "removed in places to facilitate football sight lines." GSU AD Charlie Cobb said that "construction and design costs for the retrofit have totaled" about $26M to this point. Cobb said the costs have been funded from "a lot of university revenues ... and then part of it is a sponsorship piece." He added that GSU "hopes to put separate names on the stadium and the field." The stadium now has a "seating configuration of about 25,000 in the lower and middle bowls" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/1). In Atlanta, Steve Hummer wrote GSU just "got itself a phenomenal place to call its own stadium." GSU has "fallen into a beautiful opportunity." Hummer: "Wait until the rest of the SunBelt Conference gets a load of this place" (AJC.com, 7/31).