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Volume 22 No. 35
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‘Brockmire’ taking advantage of Georgia

Season 3 of the IFC comedy brings baseball back to renamed Turner Field, utilizes Braves’ minor league park
Fictional disgraced baseball announcer Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) is joined in the booth this season by new sidekick Gabby Taylor (Tawny Newsome).
Photo: ifc

Baseball is returning to Turner Field. Sort of.

More than two years after Georgia State University paid $22.8 million to purchase and convert the Atlanta Braves’ former downtown ballpark into their football team’s home field, the venue will serve as the backdrop for much of Season 3 of “Brockmire,” IFC’s comedy about a once-revered baseball announcer trying to rebound after a fall from grace.

In the new season, which premieres April 3, the now-sober Jim Brockmire (played by six-time Emmy Award winner Hank Azaria) has made it back to the big leagues as the voice of Oakland’s baseball team. (Although the team’s colors look similar to those of the Oakland A’s, IFC does not have rights to use any MLB marks.)

The ballpark is called King Venom Vape Cartridge Stadium, a new $200 million taxpayer-funded spring training complex in the fictional town of Seascape, Fla. The facility was paid for, according to a Brockmire rant, with proceeds “from the misleadingly named ‘Make Grandchildren Visit Act.’”

GSU received $63,060 in rental fees for filming that occurred over 19 days at what is now called Georgia State Stadium. The stadium is seen primarily in the background from the radio booth shots (with real and cardboard fans), the fan concourses and the interior hallways. The actual on-field footage was filmed during a one-day stop at State Mutual Stadium, home of the Class A Rome (Ga.) Braves.

Attempts to obtain financial details about IFC’s use of that facility were unsuccessful.

For all three seasons, the network has taken advantage of Georgia’s film tax incentive, which provides up to 30 percent in tax credits when a production spends at least $500,000 in the state. Luther Williams Field in Macon, Ga., Coolray Field in Gwinnett, Ga., and the Braves’ new SunTrust Park — each with make-believe corporate banners covering any real-life signage — were used as sets during the first two seasons.

Over the course of last year’s eight-episode run, an average of 476,000 viewers watched the show within seven days of its original airing, an increase of 118 percent over the debut season.

Comedian Tawny Newsome plays Brockmire’s new broadcast partner, Gabby Taylor, while Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer George Brett and broadcaster Bob Costas will be among the sports celebrities who will make an appearance this season.