The Braves Are Leaving Atlanta

The Braves have announced plans to move to a new stadium in Cobb County in 2017, after (what will have been) 20 years of calling Turner Field home.

I don’t have a lot of thoughts at the moment. The team’s website for the move announces that the stadium is near the intersection of I-75 and I-285, so clearly the team believes that their attendance will rise by placing the stadium on multiple major highways. The team also subtly criticizes the city of Atlanta for its stewardship of the downtown area on which the former Olympic Stadium rests:

There is a lack of consistent mass transportation, a lack of sufficient parking and a lack of direct access to interstates. Furthermore, the Braves do not have control over the development of our immediate surroundings.

Translation: MARTA access to the stadium has never been great, there isn’t enough parking for people who want to drive, and the immediate surroundings of Turner Field are tremendously economically depressed, which means that there is nothing for fans to do after the game but try to leave as quickly as possible.

The city doesn’t bear all the blame for that. Among other things, MARTA’s problems result from a collective action problem — the people who want massive MARTA construction in a given area are the people who don’t live there. The people who live there would prefer not to have it. Therefore, the people who most benefit are not the ones who have standing to make the decision. Plus, because it’s Atlanta, there are always undercurrents of class and race that I will avoid mentioning here so as not to violate the no-politics rule.

But the area around Turner Field is economically depressed, and has been since before the stadium was built for the 1996 Olympics. There was a hope that the stadium would help lift up its neighborhood. That did not happen. And now the team is throwing up its hands and moving to a place with better highway access, which, in Atlanta, often amounts to the only thing that matters.

The team is also careful to note that while Turner Field has been fine for its first two decades, major reinvestment is necessary, and so they make an economic argument for the move:

Turner Field has served the Braves well since 1997, but it is in need of major infrastructure work, which will cost around $150 million. These upgrades are functional ones, such as replacing worn-out seats or upgrading the stadium’s lighting, and they would do little to significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million.

According to the AJC, the team is quoting a price of $672 million for the new stadium. Therefore, the team’s math suggests that it would cost $350 million to maintain Turner Field for the next 20 years, and only an additional $322 million to move to a location with better highway access and parking.

That said, team estimates for stadium construction are always, always low: there are always cost overruns, and because Cobb County will be footing much of the bill, the team has every incentive to lowball the cost. Moreover, I don’t quite understand the nature of the $200 million estimate for “improving the fan experience”; in my experience, going to a baseball game with your dad or your best friend is still a pretty great way to spend three hours. However, the team believes it’s important for its new stadium to be “a mixed use, 365-day destination,” which is not currently true of Turner Field, and perhaps it would require hundreds of millions of dollars to make that possible. Few outdoor stadiums are capable of 365-day use, but it would certainly raise revenues.

Anyway, the team is presenting this as a fait accompli, but that’s usually a negotiating posture. They remain the “Atlanta Braves” — the team is careful to note that the Cobb location “will have an Atlanta address.” I am depressed by this not so much by the team’s actions, which appear rational as far as it goes, but by what this means. The city is losing its team. The poor people who live around the old stadium are still poor. But someone’s going to spend the better part of a billion dollars on this anyway.

204 thoughts on “The Braves Are Leaving Atlanta”

  1. “Among other things, MARTA’s problems result from a collective action problem — the people who want massive MARTA construction in a given area are the people who don’t live there. The people who live there would prefer not to have it.”

    That’s not really right at all, pertaining to the Capitol Ave. area we’re talking about. That area *would* like a MARTA line. It *would* like additional, viable public transit. It’s just that, the way MARTA is set up, with controlling stake and voting power held partly by areas of the state that would prefer MARTA (and Atlanta, quite frankly) were vaporized from existence, this was never an option.

    It should be noted that “areas of the state” includes the place where the new stadium is going. As of now, you’re replacing lousy public transit for non-existent public transit. You’re putting the stadium of the city’s team in an area that looks at the city proper with suspicion and disgust, despite the fact that if there is no Atlanta, there is no Cobb County.

    The “we’ll build apartments and bars and restaurants and shops and stuff!” line with new stadium construction is always a load of bull.

    This is a terrible decision. I wish the franchise and the soulless leviathan that controls it nothing but ill because of it.

  2. From last thread:

    There’s a definite disconnect/”us vs them mentality” between the suburbs and the city. I just wouldn’t count this particular suburb as part of that group.

  3. @3- I have family up there and worked for a time up there. I currently live in the middle of Atlanta.

    I not only consider this particular area part of that group, I consider it one of the headliners.

  4. I had season tickets at Fulton County Stadium and I have them at the Ted and I will have them when the new Cobb stadium opens (unless, of course the NL has the DH by then). I look forward to a much easier commute. It seems that there are a ton of fans who come from Cobb or north of Cobb down I-75 so all of those folks (including me) should be pleased with the new location. If they manage to build up something like what the Nashville Predators (NHL team) have around their venue then it will definitely be an improved experience. It has always seemed to me that the surrounding areas around our sports teams have paled in comparison to other major league sports team’s I have been to. It just feels like Atlanta never gets that part of the equation right.

  5. The vast majority (I’m guessing like 90%+) of Braves fans drive to the stadium right now anyways. That won’t change at all with the new location. MARTA doesn’t even factor in to the discussion. The city had 40 years to build a rail line to the Fulton/Turner sites and for whatever reason it never happened. But even if it had been done it still doesn’t help the thousands of fans that live up 75 and 85.

  6. #5,
    As a resident of the very zip code where this is supposed to take place, I wholeheartedly disagree. This isn’t Cherokee or Forsyth or North or West Cobb County. It’s not even part of what’s popularly considered East Cobb. This specific area does not “look at the city proper with suspicion and disgust;” otherwise, 30339 wouldn’t be an Atlanta mailing address.

  7. @7-

    “MARTA doesn’t even factor in to the discussion.”

    Unless the Braves want 90% of the people attending games to be stuck on I-75 until about the 6th inning, then this is a ghastly level of foolishness.

  8. @9

    That will be the interesting part. I imagine they will work on having multiple exits for the stadium between now and then.

    I also think a MARTA line will be put in. I ti probably a stipulation of the move.

  9. MARTA doesn’t go to the current stadium, and it won’t go to the new one. It’s not a factor.

    I definitely agree that the 75 corridor is a congested mess and that this won’t be helping matters, but maybe we’ll get some road improvements out of this whole deal. I drive it every day and I can say that I’m not excited about it adding more pain to an already painful commute, but the upside is that I can stop halfway and see a ballgame. The traffic snafu isn’t really too bad going north until you get to the Delk road area, which is north of this proposed site.

    The real bitch is going to be the top arc of 285. If you are coming from Gwinnett your commute to the stadium will probably be worse than if it remained downtown.

  10. @9 According to ” rel=”nofollow”>this map it doesn’t look like 90% of the folks attending games would be using MARTA unless there was a MARTA line from Gwinnett over to Cobb. I would guess somewhere around 40-50% of folks attending games will still be coming south to get to the new location and for those folks MARTA (or other mass transit) will not be a factor one way or the other. What will be a factor is not having to suffer through the I-75/I-85 merge to get to the stadium.

  11. @11- How many more lanes are we going to put on highways up there? That’s Cobb’s answer for everything. It never works.

    If the franchise can’t ensure public transit will finally make the trip up I-75- and I doubt it can- then it’s giving the City of Atlanta proper the finger and should be treated as such. Change the name. Putting the stadium on a small sliver of land that is technically “Atlanta” doesn’t change anything.

  12. Not being from Atlanta, and if this violates the no politics rule then I apologize ahead of time but I take it that the median income north of the city is greater than the city proper and the south? Is it fair to say that a majority of the fan base comes from the northern burbs?

    A while back Baseball Prospectus did an excellent report on the Braves challenges as a mid market team. The city geography/demographics and location of the Ted as challenges were eloquently described.

  13. Clarification:
    The tract of land is not in the city of Atlanta. It is in unincorporated Cobb County. We pay Cobb County property taxes and are served by Cobb County Police and Fire. Voters have no say in city of Atlanta matters.

    This is “Atlanta” only in the eyes of the USPS, and those people that Cousins was looking to trick when they lobbied for the designation change back when developing the Wildwood office park back in the 1980s. As a long term, unintended consequence, this one is hard to beat.

  14. @14,

    Sam,

    The Atlanta City limits end at the river. It is Atlanta Postal “rural route” just like much of North DeKalb.

    Generally,

    I live south of the city but don’t attend in person often. I don’t like the “fewer seats” because that is a ploy to push the ticket prices up. When the new station opens, tickets will average 30 to 50% over last year’s average. The $5.00 seats will be gone.

    The better suburban stadium site is the one the Falcons passed on: the old GM plant site at Peachtree Industrial and 285. One exit off 85. Marta station next door.

  15. 75 desperately needs an HOV lane extension from where it ends now at 285 all the way up to 575. Traffic in that stretch is brutal, up there with the worst in any city in the country. Atlanta is too spread-out for light-rail to be a viable solution. Better roads actually would help things. So would more pay-for-use lanes.

    I think holding the Braves responsible for Atlanta’s lack of infrastructure is grossly and unjustly misplacing the blame.

  16. @20:

    “We don’t like Atlanta’s infrastructure. So we’re moving somewhere with less.”

    Hope and a prayer, Liberty Media.

  17. @19

    The Doraville site is a better location, but I believe it rejected the Falcons a few years ago, not vice versa, and its mayor has flatly nixed the notion of using the land for any stadium.

  18. I stand corrected on the postal code vs. COA distinction. Still, I think it’s wrong to say the Braves are moving out of Atlanta to a “suburb.” Galleria is part of Atlanta. It’s not like they’re building in Roswell or Alpharetta.

    The politics of this is more “get away from Fulton County commissioners and to a more development friendly county board.”

  19. http://goo.gl/maps/UWkRy

    Just a snapshot of the roads around where this is going to be. (I have no idea what time of day Google took this picture. Must’ve been on a weekend.)

    You can’t just roll with “we’ll add more lanes!”/”better roads!”/”uh, toll lanes I guess!” as your solution to everything. Look at this highway. It’s almost comical.

  20. @21, the infra in the Cobb Galleria area is infinitely better than the ghetto where Turner Field sits. There’s no good place for anything in this city traffic-wise, so no matter where the stadium goes there will be complaints. Keeping it where it is, with literally zero bar/restaurant options, seems like it would be an insane decision.

  21. I live a few states away and my trip to the Ted last year was only my second ever visit to Atlanta, so could someone elaborate on the site of the proposed new stadium? Is it considered a true suburb community or is it just where the people of Marietta and Atlanta rubs shoulders at Target?

    Looking at google maps its appears to be bounded by interstates and shopping malls, with a subdivision of tacky-looking townhouses nearby. This would seem to me a terrible place for a ballpark. If one can’t be built in a part of a city center, then I would at least hope for something more neighborhood-centered with walkable routes to bars and whatnot.

    This looks to me like they will end up with something more like Angels Stadium in Anaheim (not a compliment).

  22. It’s like 12 miles north of the current stadium. Less than 8 miles from midtown. Saying they’re abandoning Atlanta is kind of a stretch. They are abandoning the current site, no doubt about it.

  23. @27, Atlanta has a lot of nice neighborhoods with walkable routes to bars and whatnot…exactly zero of those would want a stadium in their backyard.

  24. Cobb Galleria was the edge of Atlanta back when Marietta was a suburb. 50 years ago. Now Marietta is one of the ‘inner ring’ suburbs, not a true exurb like Roswell, Alpharetta or Duluth. It’s as much a part of Atlanta proper as is Decatur (also technically a suburb/city of its own.)

    The land the Braves are building on isn’t in COA or Marietta proper, apparently.

    The politics of this move is between the counties. Fulton County is run by COA commissioners and the political network that runs them. Strongly democratic, traditionally African American (since the 80s at least.) And difficult to develop property with. Especially down where Turner Field sits, which abuts Grant Park and the GP Neighborhood Association. Those neighbys are categorically opposed to suburban type development of the sort any stadium consortium would want to build around a baseball field. They want to preserve living neighborhoods (for the hipsters in Grant Park and East Atlanta) while avoiding “bad neighborhoods” like Mechanicsville and such.

    Cobb County is aligned with the libertarian/GOP suburbs and is developer friendly. Galleria is already a mall district, so putting an extended mall-park complex there is 100% reasonable to everyone. It also has the local benefit, for the generic Braves fan base, of being more cream than coffee.

  25. @31, all true, but with a minor correction in that that specific area is pretty diverse…it’s not just cream. Some of the reactions make it seem like they are putting a stadium down in the middle of uppity/afluent east-Cobb, which is pretty far from the actual reality.

  26. @32, the places I’m thinking of are mostly in midtown/decatur/buckhead and people can walk to and from their house/condo/apt. There has never been anything like that in Atlanta that caters to the out-of-town visitor, except for the few hotels in midtown. Downtown offers very little, and the area around Turner Field offers nothing at all.

  27. @34 I still think most people will be outside of walking distance. I also think the fear of public transit is overblown. Wrigley is on the rail and is extraordinarily safe despite connecting to some of the roughest areas in the country

  28. On google earth it looks like the plot of land in question has some topography. If they move a shitload of earth they could maybe raise up the south side of the lot enough to have a view of the downtown beyond the outfield, albeit way the fuck off in the distance. If they just bulldoze it flat there won’t be a view of anything. Either way the new park is going to lose that wonderful feeling of being a special part of a meaningful place (which, in the Ted’s case, is the city of Atlanta).

  29. @37, look at the map Sam posted @35. There are only two north/south rail lines that service the area where all the fans are coming from, and getting to those stops from your house often requires you to drive 30+ minutes anyways (not to mention that the train doesn’t even go to the stadium at the moment). It’s $10 per person round-trip…so $50 to use the train for a family of five. You can drive and park for half that. There are zero east/west lines in that area, and nothing like a loop or anything of that nature. Atlanta just isn’t set up like the high-population-density grid-based cities of the north. It’s just like Houston and Los Angeles – massively spread out and car-centric.

    Wrigely and Fenway are both in nice/desirable neighborhoods. Turner Field is like the polar opposite of that. It’d be nice if the Braves could put a new stadium in Virginia Highlands or something, but that’s not happening.

  30. It should be noted in the public transit aspect of this debate that you CAN currently take the MARTA train to the game, and I have done so many, many times. While a mile or so walk isn’t a great situation if you have small children or are in poor health, I enjoy it. And for people accustomed to life without a car, the walk is no barrier whatsoever to the idea of going to the game.

  31. @41

    Unfortunately you’re describing a very small minority of the fan base and the team has to think about ALL the fan base. Most of whom drive to games.

  32. I hope they run a MARTA line that drops you off in the left field stands.

    It could be like Brooster’s Millions.

  33. Okay, so currently, the majority of fans drive to the games. But the team is not satisfied with current attendance levels, nor should it be. Seems like moving to a place with worse mass transit access is a bad idea from that perspective.

  34. Notably, the Mayor is touting getting rid of Turner Field (and the required acres of parking lots) as a way to rebuild that neighborhood. I suspect they’ll do something like Atlantic Station there, to connect Grant Park to Downtown via an actual livable neighborhood.

  35. @44

    The idea is that since most of the people who go to games drive in from the northern suburbs then putting a stadium in the northern suburbs would make them more likely to actually drive in for games.

  36. Dang. Talk about a surprise (at least to me) announcement. Next announcement is that the Mets have taken Dan Uggla and have agreed to pay 27 million of his 26 million dollar contract and have included Matt, damaged arm, Harvey in the deal as a sweetner.

  37. @44 – you don’t seem to understand the problem with the traffic. The mass of the fans live north of the city. They have to drive down 75 or 85 or GA400 from their homes. On the norther side of Atlanta proper, all three of those major interstates become ONE SINGLE HIGHWAY. They then take that highway, the “Downtown Connector” through the city. Traffic will back up north of the connector merge, be gridlock throughout the city, all the way past I20 and the stadium.

    The new location will bring all of those pieces together via different routes. People from the 75N corridor suburbs will come down 75 to the stadium (which will be at the intersection of I75 and I285.) People from 400 and 85N will come down to 285 and then take the Perimeter west to the stadium. Some from 85N might be smart and loop 85N down into the city and then take 75N back UP to the stadium.

    All of this will decrease the convergence at the Downtown Connector. It will dump a lot of it off at 285, true. But that’s a better option for the northern ‘burbanites than coming through downtown and then trying to park in Mechanicsville.

  38. @40 I’m just pointing out that public transit doesn’t ruin nice neighborhoods. No area that wants a pro sports team can reasonably refuse a way to get people there. Isn’t the whole point to bring in business?

  39. The idea that Cobb County will be fruitful forever is, well, go to Clayton County sometime. I guess the optimism here is that an influx of everyone converging on Spaghetti Junction Jr. will force Cobb to wise the hell up about public infrastructure, but I’m not buying it.

    By 2030, we’ll be rooting for the Cumming Braves. Or Dahlonega. Or Chattanooga. Or the moon. Or back to Atlanta again. Anything to follow white flight to its logical endpoints.

  40. Good lord. Why does this have to be about white flight? Look at the map of ticket sales for Braves game in 2012. Link is @35. You put your product where the goddamned customers are. How hard is that? It doesn’t require white flight snark.

  41. @49, Atlanta doesn’t have a functional mass transit solution for the Braves’ target fan demographic. That’s why I say it’s not part of the discussion. The how’s and why’s of how this came to be would probably be worthy of its own sub-forum, but I don’t think the how’s and why’s are all that relevant. The Braves have to operate in the here and now, with Atlanta’s current infrastructure in mind, not in a fantasy world where Atlanta is somehow transformed into a European car-less utopia.

  42. Speaking as someone who lives a half-mile from the stadium (on the same street, no less), I’m absolutely gutted about this decision. I’ve walked to hundreds of games over the years. What a terrible day for our neighborhood.

  43. Why exactly are we nostalgic for Turner Field anyway? A mall park, built where it is because the city owned parking lots around the old AFCS, which itself was built where it was in 1966 because it was politically expedient to condemn black people’s property and take their land for the project. AFCS was 30 years old when it was replaced. That’s only 10 years older than TF is in 2017.

  44. @51- Because without white flight from Atlanta, Cobb County wouldn’t exist. And white flight is always a game of musical chairs. There’s no way the Braves are playing at I-75/I-285 by 2030. Because “where the goddamned customers are” will be completely different, unless someone wants to argue to me that Cobb County, divorced from context, is a sustainably good place to live.

  45. Side note: How the hell did the AJC get scooped by the freaking Marietta Daily Journal on this story? The AJC is so, so bad.

  46. You guys are leaving out the 400 million reasons the Braves are doing this. ATL wouldn’t pony up and Cobb did. Welcome to capitalism.

  47. Turner Field is also clearly cursed, as evidenced by our unfathomably bad home playoff game record there. I hope that the proper exorcism rituals are performed when they demolish it.

    Tearing it down to make way for something that would actually revitalize/rejuvenate a depressed area (Atlantic Station II or whatever mixed-use hipster-friendly thing they replace it with – something that you’d actually *want* to live next to) – that seems like it could be a good thing. Mechanicsville has been the same for 40+ years, so waiting another 40 for the stadium’s influence to become a positive seems kinda insane to me.

    I’ve been to Fenway park a bunch. My brother used to live within walking distance. Those neighborhoods are as lily white and as high-rent as it gets. It’d be like putting a stadium in Piedmont Park. I’m not saying that wouldn’t be a good idea, but generally speaking I can’t think of any “nice” place in Atlanta that would welcome a new pro sports arena.

  48. Yes, white flight was a huge driver of Atlanta’s socio-economic layout, historically. Yes, Cobb County was a big driver of screwing up MARTA from the start because of hold over racism.

    None of that has a damned thing to do with this stadium build.

    And if, in 2040, the market says move the stadium again, move the stadium again.

    For the record, getting TF out of the development plan of the southeast side of the city will actually improve the city’s attempts to rebuild as the place where people want to live in the post-90s, post-white flight, back-fill back to the city proper 2000’s.

  49. @62-

    “And if, in 2040, the market says move the stadium again, move the stadium again.”

    Ah, OK. This is an ethos, and I can respect it.

  50. Turner Field’s location was holding the Braves back. I don’t think there can be an argument on that.

    Ironically, to parts of this discussion, some folks think that the gentrification of some of our inner cities is a bad thing.

  51. I’m actually interested to see what kind of stadium the team will build of its own accord. TF was nice enough, but it was an Olympic Stadium conversation first and foremost.

  52. Living in West Cobb and working in Marietta, this certainly makes going to games easier, but I’m not 100% sold on this out of the box. The biggest disppointment, however is that we are not far away from losing a relatively inoffensive stadium name in favor of Cialis Field (the Big Pill ?) or something equally noxious.

    What’s coming next are the stories villifying Cobb County for stealing the Braves, or the stories about how incompetent the City of Atlanta must be to have lost them.

    Kudos to the Braves, however for keeping a secret – was there even any rumour of this taking place ?

    Two other things I suspect – games will get more expensive to go to and my property taxes are likely to go up…

  53. What I’m hoping for: 40,000 seats or less and a simple just-baseball feel to it. View of the field from wide-open and spacious concourses. Unique and high-quality food and beverage options.

    My fear is that it’ll be even more cheesy than TF, with flashing lights and obnoxiously loud PA systems and cartoon characters walking around and shit.

  54. @66-

    New Ted will be the first “retro era stadium” to get dumped for something else, so yeah, the franchise will be blazing a trail in *some* direction.

  55. Right now, visiting teams have fairly close access to Turner Field from the Hotel District on what used to be Ivy St. (it’s Peachtree something or other now), and, depending upon traffic, they are a short drive from the airport.

  56. I’m going to second everything said @59. The Braves have played 16 postseason series since moving to Turner Field. They have celebrated exactly two clinching wins on that field (1999 NLCS, 2001 NLDS). That batshit Kenny Rogers game is the best thing that ever happened there and that’s a scientifically verifiable fact. It’s almost an hour after the game ends to get to my postgame bar (30 minutes to walk to the parking lot and 20 to drive to the bar.) Burn it and salt the land, then put up some condos and whatnot.

    I went to Wrigleyville last year and it’s fun for what it is but you might as well drop a stadium on top of Buckhead Saloon to approximate the crowd and neighborhood it serves. I don’t blame the Braves for not trying to go that route either.

    I’m willing to give this a shot. Maybe it’ll suck, but Turner Field sucks already. Grantland had us as like the 29th best MLB stadium experience last year. And Cobb County has volunteered to build it for me out of their money; rather than complain about white flight or whatever, I say build me stuff, county I don’t live in!

  57. @ 38,

    Joe Craig,

    The hill about a half mile south of 1 – 285 is higher than the stadium area. I think it is the east end of Vinings Ridge. if you were where Overlook is (highest part of Vinings Ridge), it would be like the Barcelona Olympic diving venue. Phenomenal view. I was at a conference in Overlook and looked straight at Tyler Perry’s previous house. Impressive.

  58. @67 Yes, I think that will be the biggest disappointment for me, too. I can’t *wait* to see which company pays enough to have their name become the new home of the Braves. I have loved not having a stadium name that was advertising something.

  59. @73-

    “you might as well drop a stadium on top of Buckhead Saloon”

    Can we just go ahead and do that anyway? Maybe three stadiums, just to make sure we finish the job.

  60. Other things I expect out of this:

    – Game atmosphere will be better and the “lol your crowd is all empty seats” will not be a thing when the place is sized correctly for baseball

    – That said, I will miss constantly scooping $8 tickets on StubHub and getting a view from behind home plate. Secondary-market vultures like myself will take a hit here.

  61. #40

    just want to correct you there on the cost of Marta to Turner Field. It’s 2.50 each way, so a $5 round trip. The bus shuttles are free provided you rode Marta to 5 Points. I know, as I’ve taken Marta to every game I’ve attended for 6 yrs from Decatur. Now fans like me wont be able to attend the game unless there is some public transport. And I sincerely doubt there’ll be a marta line, most likely some bus shuttles from a staging area. Oh well, guess we’ll see in 2017.

  62. Plans say 41-2k capacity. So 20K less than the Ted at full capacity. That spells ticket price hikes, obviously. But sign me up for everything from @73. I’m all for the haughty rich white people of Cobb building me a stadium while my taxes attempt to approximate a 21st century sewer system.

  63. Where did you get the 20K less number? Wikipedia has Turner Field capacity at 50,096 but I seem to recall hearing that capacities tend to be overstated and that the actual number is usually something like 2,000 less than that.

    In any event, the capacity is being reduced by something like 8,000, but that capacity was rarely actually used. So while the max may decrease by 8,000, it’s still very possible that the team might increase average attendance by 3,000-5,000, depending on how many suburbanites pack in every night.

  64. I’m not a huge fan of this, but I can see the argument for why it’ll be better for both the Braves and the city of Atlanta as a whole. I’ve never really gotten involved in the whole city vs. suburbs thing, and consider the suburbs, particularly as far in as I-285, to basically be Atlanta. This doesn’t change my fandom of the team, per our eerily prescient conversation a week or so ago about what would happen if the Braves moved.

    A MARTA line out to Cobb County would be nice in general, and this is probably the best chance there’ll ever be of it happening. Still not convinced it will, but the chances are infinitely better now than 24 hours ago.

  65. Sorry. Fat fingered the 20k. It’s more like 10k. Packed to the gills with SRO crowds the Ted will fit about 52K.

  66. There are three kinds of moves. Moves to new cities (Milwaukee to Atlanta), moves from a city to a true suburb (Detroit to Auburn Hills), and a move internal to the city itself. This is closer to the latter than the former.

  67. A new stadium in the 35K seat range would be a pretty good size I think. If we’re stuck with this tv contract then they have to try to increase revenue by maximizing gate receipts. Maybe creating a bit of ticket scarcity while at the same time providing a (hopefully) improved gameday experience is the way to go.

    I’ll go to just my few games a year anyway so I guess I don’t really care where they play them. I have a better view from my couch and my beer is cheaper.

  68. @67 – Oh man you’re right. Some stupid corporate name is in our future.

    Your Atlanta Crackers of County Cobb will be playing games in Waffle House Field at Delta Yards in 2017.

  69. Cobb County must be run by fish eyed fools. The $450 million for a few thousand part time jobs? That number doesn’t factor in the infrastructure costs to surrounding areas.

    Mechanicsville is blighted and run down, but at least you can look at it and hope a new day will come with a true plan to redevelop the area. A rail spur would help drive development, but a decent TAD overlay would bring money into a prime location.

    The Cobb Diarrhea and Cobb Parkway is just an endless array of crappy strip centers that are going nowhere and will never change. The things folks complain about now, traffic, the stadium being isolated, will be the exact same. The Teabaggers that run Cobb County will never vote for a transit option. So its going to be traffic for everyone.

    Seriously, you people that think traffic will be better are in denial. At least before you could bring a kid downtown, eat at the Varsity, see some big buildings, go to the game and feel like you’d been in a Major League environment. Now its going to be fighting traffic and grabbing Taco Bell at some shitty, nameless, faceless strip mall surrounded by the same. Unless of course you go for the 5-6 generic restaurants on the property itself, which will probably sit beneath cookie cutter Post apartments and probably be run by ARAMARK.

    This is what happens when your team is an investment and the owner is a corporation in Colorado that doesn’t know piss all about the City, the fans and doesn’t care to.

  70. @91- Hey man. For late-Millenials such as myself, living at cooke-cutter Post apartments at some point was/is a right of passage into Atlanta city living.

  71. @53 I’ve been to about 15 different stadiums and Turner Field is one of my favorites. I feel that the grass is greener and the sky bluer. I like seeing all the things associated with Turner/Atlanta throughout the concourse. I’m not saying these things won’t exist in the new location but it won’t have the same feel.

    Plus, I’m upset that my commute time just more than doubled. I’m upset that I STILL won’t be able to take MARTA to a game (I live in the 30013 zip). I’m upset that my preferred ticket zone just went from $48 to probably $68. But I think I’m mostly upset that one of my favorite stadiums is about to be abandoned by the team I love.

  72. I’ll be interested in a couple of things as this plays out:

    — Watching the Cobb tea-partiers trying to deal with a half-billion in public funds going to benefit a private-owned sports team. I’ll be very interested to see if they freak the hell out or not.

    — Seeing what the city does with the existing Turner Field property. Dog-track? GSU sports complex? Bulldoze and build condos nobody wants?

  73. @91, 92 – and the Varsity is also a chain with eight locations around Atlanta. But honestly… who cares? If there’s a row of places outside the stadium that will sell me a beer after the game, I don’t give a crap about its presumed authenticity or lack thereof. Beer is beer, and that’s an improvement over current conditions.

    And a baseball team is a giant corporation (which is a thing you have to make your peace with to be an eyes-wide-open fan, really) so it’s never going to be the Little Five Points Halloween Parade in its wake. But that’s always been true; it’s not like they’re replacing your neighborhood indie baseball team here…

  74. @95- Because the Internet is stupid, I keep hearing “GSU football stadium!” being thrown about, even though the Panthers are averaging about 30 people at their games these days. GSU only exists to get their behinds handed to them in road paycheck games.

  75. I used to live in Cobb County and to say Cobb County is not a part of Atlanta, to me, is a bit insulting. I don’t know why I feel that way though.

  76. @99- For years- decades- Cobb County *itself* bristled at the notion that it was part of Atlanta. Now that urban areas and in-town living are chic again, it wants to reclaim the status.

  77. W.C.G., you seem to miss my point. I’m not comparing The Ted to Wrigley or Fenway or Camden yards, or the Little 5 Halloween Parade, but its location gives it potential. There is underutilized land in a good location that could become something. Squeezing a stadium between pre-existing interstates, a mall, and sprawl is a dead end proposition. The people that think Cobb will make something accessible and not bland strip center quality need look no further than, ALL OF COBB COUNTY to learn otherwise. If your end all be all is drinking a beer in a parking lot, waiting for the interstate to clear, then hoping to dodge cops on the way home, have at it. Some of us held out hope that the Ted would eventually be in a better setting, as the south side and Beltline continue redevelopment.

    No one is contesting the fact it makes the most business sense for the Braves to accept a half-billion dollar giveaway. Some of us just think Cobb Parkway sucks and a team named the Atlanta Braves should be in Atlanta.

  78. It’s hard to argue that blight and economic blah will soon a Cobb located stadium while pretending that mechanicsville is anything better than Cobb pkwy.

  79. At first I was a bit bummed, but a suburban baseballery is so emblematic of this club. I’ll hate not going to games anymore though. Very kind of them to wait until after the election to post it. I guess a loyal corporatist like Reed has earned that much.

  80. @101, I’m sure the Braves held out hope that the Ted would eventually be in a better setting too. 40 years ago.

  81. Some talk now that a logo change (maybe team name?) may be in the works too. Interesting.

    That Home of the Braves site specifically states “we will remain the Atlanta Braves”, so I don’t think they’re changing the name.

    The Teabaggers that run Cobb County…

    Oh goody: politics.

  82. Boy, urban elitists sure do hate people that choose not to live in overcrowded squalor, don’t they? Funny how the most hateful are always the same type of folks constantly patting themselves on the back for their tolerance.

  83. Unfortunately, 40 years ago Cobb and Gwinnett were busy cutting the legs out from under MARTA. Which propogated sprawl development, which necessitated the large parking lots at the Ted, which helped make stadiums surrounding suck…

  84. @109, or maybe when they built the original stadium in the 60’s they could have put it in a better spot rather than a slum.

  85. @112-

    Summerhill was a different place in the 1960s. Some could argue that tearing up blocks to put down a stadium put the neighborhood on a downward course.

    But it wasn’t a slum.

  86. I don’t know exactly why it was placed where it was, you’d have to ask Ivan Allen (and that will be difficult), but that area was a bad area even then. It was nice in the 20’s and 30’s when my grandma was a kid, but not so nice by the mid 60’s. The most logical explanation for that location is that pushing people out of a run down poor area is a lot easier politically that trying to push people out of land in upscale areas.

    I would argue that having a huge stadium anywhere near where you live is going to probably be a negative on quality of life. There’s a lot of NIMBY going on with projects like this. That’s why the commercial area near the Galleria is maybe the least-worst destination. Tons of nice areas of the city are nowhere even close to any major attraction, sporting or otherwise. So losing Turner Field is definitely not a negative as far as the turnaround prospects of the areas near downtown and south of it.

  87. I’m still going for Pascual Perez Field. If nothing else, he ought to at least get an exit ramp off 285 named after him.

  88. @114 – yupyupyup.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_freeway_revolts

    MARTA looks like it does because of Cobb and Gwinnett’s intransigence, but the intown freeway system is defined by the moneyed neighborhoods on the east side being the only ones with enough clout to kill a couple grid-connectors. (Morningside, Va-Hi, Inman, L5P, etc.)

    So… where would we put this that would a) be a nice place to go to a game and b) get through the locals’ approval process? It’s probably all a moot point because Cobb County threw an ARod-to-the-Rangers contract at the Braves, but it’s worth thinking about.

    You can argue that Mechanicsville “has potential” but at some point potential turns into Andy Marte and it’s just not happening for you there. I think it’s proven at this point that that neighborhood needs something that isn’t a stadium to get its jumpstart. Stadiums, with their seas of permanent parking lots and seasonal economies, don’t seem to be the thing for underdeveloped neighborhoods.

  89. @59 Actually the Atlanta Crackers ballpark was in Piedmont Park from 1902 – 1906. The State Fair was held there every fall! Ansley Park was being developed when the Crackers built and moved to Ponce de Leon park. One of the reason’s given for moving to Ponce, better street car service!

    The State of Georgia and City of Atlanta mortgaged all of their stadium tax dollar support to keep the Falcons downtown. My guess is no one in City Hall (Atlanta’s that is) believed the Braves would move, and given Liberty Media’s lack of corporate presence here they probably thought it was a bluff.

    I’m sure the Braves will win another W.S. after the move, not before!!!

  90. also, I think we all need to cool the “urban vs. suburban” war a few degrees. I live intown near a MARTA station because I like being in range of everything, but I work in an exurb and I’m not above availing myself of attractions OTP. When I read posts depicting Cobb County as being nothing but the most hackneyed suburban stereotypes, it’s just as tiresome as reading AJC commenters who don’t understand intown and reduce it to old stereotypes. The truth is the lines are blurring as “white flight” becomes more of a migrating-back-to-the-city phenomenon.

  91. @118, thank you. I’m the opposite of you in that I live in the burbs and work in midtown, but I’ve lived in this city for a long time and know from experience that there’s great places to live and entertain yourself both ITP and OTP, and not-so-great places in both as well.

  92. I live in town in a up and coming neighborhood because I like to balance my feelings of moral superiority to mere suburbans against the inner joy of pricing poor black folk out of their generational homes.

  93. As a fan, I think the team belongs in Atlanta, not Cobb County, and I see nothing about the move to Cobb that will improve the experience. I live in Buckhead, so proposed location is actually much closer to my house. Despite this, I find the prospect of a Cobb Galleria stadium sad. Its just one traffic jam being exchanged for another. Essentially, the Braves are willing to pay $250MM if they get a half-billion for free, but if they are just asked to stay committed or pitch in half that to a city that supported them for 40 years, they are allowed in the spirit of profit to just say piss off. It sucks hard and just shows why we’ve been suck ever since Ted turned over the reigns.

  94. from the press room…

    My O My, no sooner does Alex beg for content than away we go…great blogging by any standard…a hot topic at the least, sure, but it has been done justice here today.

    TC is a non starter, swept away.

  95. The Braves will certainly own part of the new revenue streams that arise from all the supporting dining/lodging/entertainment stuff that gets built on that 60 acre parcel. If the city could offer up a similar deal at a location inside the city limits then I’m sure the Braves would listen. That kind of deal is not possible in their current location.

    I’ve always wanted something to bridge the gulch between downtown and midtown…

  96. I refuse to believe that Cobb County won’t allow a MARTA extension by 2017. It’s been fifty years since their first refusal, and I’m not going to assume nothing has changed.

  97. I bet they do too. For this to work out long term I feel like the 75 corridor is going to have to get a combination of rail, hov/hot lanes, and better engineered access ramps. This is the kind of stuff that seems like it would only help the symbiotic relationship between in-town and the outlying NW burbs.

    My fear has always been that it’s going to take epic traffic-fail in order to get Cobb and Cherokee to take action in this respect. Building a stadium at the worst traffic location in the metro area is going to accelerate that epic fail for sure. I hope we can start the improvements well before that first season.

  98. As someone who lives 4 hours from Atlanta, I don’t have a huge preference. My thought is a great deal of work has gone into demographic studies and ownership knows what they’re doing. Bottom line, it will be a win for the Braves – not sure what it will mean for the city of Atlanta.

  99. I don’t buy the demographic logic behind the move. Is there more data on season ticket-holders over a longer time frame? I don’t think the chart the Braves are circulating speaks to anything more than the comparative affluence of the northern and southern suburbs and the racial demographics of Central Georgia. The argument also doesn’t account for the trend of people moving back to urban areas, though perhaps the Atlanta metro area is different in this respect. And finally, I would imagine that you’d find a similar distribution of season ticket-holders into the wealthier suburbs for most professional teams, so I don’t think this is a unique challenge facing the Braves. Chasing after demographics in this way only makes sense if you’re open to building disposable stadiums and negotiating extensive tax breaks with local governments.

    I do think the move could work financially for the Braves. Liberty Media seems more adept at pushing around local elected officials than television executives. It’s just a shame that it likely won’t work for Cobb County, and that Atlanta will be on the hook for whatever happens to the Ted.

  100. No, that’s dumb. Nationals fans are even worse at humor than their team was at playing baseball for most of its short, pitiful existence.

    Since the stadium’s going to be in Cobb County, @DrunkTedTurner has an accurate rendering of what it’ll really look like: :large

  101. “My fear is that it’ll be even more cheesy than TF, with flashing lights and obnoxiously loud PA systems and cartoon characters walking around and shit.”

    There is no way to avoid that. In DC, I feel assaulted at every game by loud music, stupid contests, and, the apparent assumption that no one actually comes to see the game itself. (The presidents’ race is ok but, by now, pretty contrived.) I assume that will probably be the case in the new Braves stadium because that’s how baseball is marketed today.

    Not living in Atlanta, I am probably not competent to comment, but it’s pretty clear that the Braves know the location and demographics of their fan base-and it isn’t downtown Atlanta. Baseball obviously has an issue with its fan base becoming increasingly old and white. That’s not the Braves’ fault but I think it would be a fool’s errand for the city to try to outbid Cobb County to keep the Braves. It’s pretty clear that new stadiums do not provide significant economic benefits to the surrounding area. So what if the team doesn’t play in Atlanta proper? The Giants and the Jets don’t play in NY. If Cobb County wants to throw its money away, let them. This might be great for the Braves but it’s not necessarily bad for the city of Atlanta.

  102. From Jim Galloway, basically the only reason to care about the AJC:

    Cobb County GOP Chairman Joe Dendy sent out a statement that included these thoughts on mass transit and taxes:
    “It is absolutely necessary the solution is all about moving cars in and around Cobb and surrounding counties from our north and east where most Braves fans travel from, and not moving people into Cobb by rail from Atlanta.
    “The other important part of the formula is for the citizens of Cobb not to experience any kind of tax increase. The influx of people into the county for the games should provide the revenue needed to make this a successful venture.”

    We can “it’s not 1960 anymore!” this and “there’s stuff to do up there!” that, but the truth remains that Cobb is largely governed by a “class” of people who are openly hostile to the first part of the team’s name, and will continue to be until they’re unelected or die. And it’s going to make the gameday experience complete ass for those of us Braves fans who live in Atlanta. By design.

    It is what it is.

  103. @136

    I hope with the new stadium they will keep the Turner Field Shopping Mall stuff on the outside, since they will own the lots around the field.

    NAPA welcomes you to Coke Field built by Home Depot powered by Georgia Power at Delta Staduim.

  104. @137, that’s pretty damning stuff – but if they’ve already made an offer, that has been accepted, wouldn’t they have to have the fnancing plan in place already?

  105. @139- Back in ’96, Cobb County essentially refused to have the Olympic Torch run through town because they just *had* to uphold some motion condemning LGBTs. They’ve bolted themselves to a sprawl-addled fate by refusing public infrastructure development. They’ve slapped creationist stickers on science books, becoming the laughingstock of the country.

    Cobb rarely does what’s in its best interests, just to spite the “other.” Even if it means making everyone’s lives miserable, even if it means making its citizens look like backwoods morons, even if it hurts the entire metro area. Cobb gonna Cobb.

  106. @140- Ha. I could not have pressed the voting machine screen harder for one of Reed’s opponents, not that it mattered any.

  107. @141, I had no idea Cobb was so evil. I’ll have to think on this some more. Maybe building a train to make it easier to get there isn’t in anyone’s best interest. A moat or electric fence might be money better spent.

    Does anyone know much about the details of the NW rail line that never came to be? I think there’s a tunnel for the line that was mostly finished…but they built Atlantic Station pretty much on top of it. Would they need to start over, or could they continue the work that was started so long ago?

    I remember how long it took to build the red line up to North Springs. Even if they broke ground on the project today I don’t think we’d be anywhere near ready for 2017.

  108. This will be remembered as the thread that broke the no politics rule. But I suppose that’s inevitable when what’s driving a major change to the Braves as an institution is… local politics.

  109. Yeah, I’m willing to put a sock in it w/r/t politics, but it’s hard to divorce the issue of the move from the political forces- over a half-century- that inspired it. And the area where the team is moving (Newt Gingrich’s old district) is significantly different than the one it’s leaving (John Lewis’ current district).

  110. Bowman reporting that we have increased our interest in Hudson over the past week. I’m not exactly sure what that entails, but I’m all for it if our backup plan is Roy Halladay.

    @mlbbowman: Tim Hudson is still drawing attention from a number of teams. The #Braves have shown some more interest the past week. #StillEarly

  111. Just curious, which schools in Cobb placed creationist stickers in science books? Surely not, say, Walton or Lassiter?

  112. “It is absolutely necessary the solution is all about moving cars in and around Cobb and surrounding counties from our north and east where most Braves fans travel from, and not moving people into Cobb by rail from Atlanta.

    But but but… post-racial America!

  113. Per my ScoreCenter app, they’re going to tear down the Ted once the Braves move. Good decision.

  114. I think they should tear everything down except the big screen and turn the place into a high-def drive-in theater.

  115. krussell @ 143,

    The northwest line was to go to the Perry Homes public housing. The route left the west line somewhere around where the Georgia Dome / World Congress center is and followed (mostly) the old Georgia Railroad tracks (which end up in Vinings and come within about 2 miles on the west side of the “proposed site”). I don’t think a lot of work was done, but some definitely was.

    The only feasible rail route in the short to intermediate run is straight up the I – 75 right of way on poles. Exit North Line at Brookwood with interchange to Amtrak. Stops at or near Northside Drive, West Paces Ferry, “the road at the top of the hill in Cobb before Galleria” (several large office buildings right there) and “ground central Braves” with people movers or moving sidewalks and escalators back to Galleria and Cumberland. Eliminates most of environmental impact, wetlands, historic preservation, right of way acquisition, noise abatement, etc.

    I think part of the move is that the city government just committed so much money to the Falcons and basically told the Braves to “_ _ _ _” off. If city had committed a people mover from Georgia State / Twin Towers station to the stadium and some stadium fixes and some neighborhood fixes, then Turner could have continued as a workable situation.

    Actually, the financial windfall of the Olympics contributed to this result. The Braves committed to a period of time in which they could recover their “redo” of Turner and the City doesn’t owe any money on it. So, who has incentive to make another deal work?

    Fair chance the Cobb deal unravels. Either (a) the Braves have a REAL BIG commitment from somebody or (b) they played this wrong and should have played ATL against Cobb. If they have to go back to ATL, they will get even less.

  116. @137

    That’s fantastically idiotic and all, but Cobb needs to be careful here. When it was just them, that kind of attitude with regard to MARTA was all well and good, but they have the Braves to worry about now. And the only reason they have the Braves now (or are about to) is that Atlanta spent a number of years not listening to the Braves’ needs for their ballpark. I have to think the Braves would be in favor of a northwest MARTA line up to the stadium, and if Cobb refuses, that’s fine, I guess. But they have to remember that the Braves just left Atlanta, there’s no reason they can’t leave Cobb County in 20 years, too.

  117. Actually I think the Braves and the City of Atlanta (and probably the new Cobb hosts) will always be in favor of everyone driving cars to the games because parking is such a huge high-margin money maker. This is the number one reason a MARTA stop wasn’t run to Fulton County stadium, and why it wasn’t fixed when Turner was built.

    The more I think about the more I think there’s no chance at all of rail going to Cumberland. At least not because of the Braves move. Some other catalysts might eventually make it happen, but this isn’t it.

  118. The reason the Braves want to go to Cobb is because they don’t want to continue splitting parking revenue with COA and Fulton. Parking, and development around the stadium area, are two revenue streams the Braves are looking to maximize in order to counteract the horrible TV/radio deal. Rail access doesn’t help them there. They will not push Cobb for rail access, and Cobb will not push for rail access themselves (obviously.)

  119. (postrequisite post that I realize that It’s Just Bidness but also noting that this setup will make the gameday experience utter ass when it really doesn’t have to be if it weren’t for the Braves taking a screw to the fans and at the same time partnering with the sensibilities with Councilmember Cletus Q. MacGillicudy, so yeah, like I said, “F*** you, fans!”)

  120. @160, don’t ignore that the same FU and shitty gameday experience was there with the previous two stadiums. Councilmen loves them some parking lot money, regardless of skin color and their stance on creationism.

    The gameday experience may be utter ass in the new location, or maybe it’ll be better. Time will tell. I think it’s going to be a lot like going to Liberty Media’s version of Disney World. 60 acres of eating and shopping with retail occupants hand-picked by Braves and Cobb cronies. Whether this will totally suck or not is anyone’s guess. That doesn’t change the fact that right now Turner Field is about the worst gameday experience possible for most of the fan base.

  121. There will never be rail in Cobb County. They pitched the Braves a mass transit plan that involved running Cobb Transit buses between 5-Points Marta and the Sandy Springs Marta stops. Now, how these buses are going to fly over the gridlock on 75N and 285, no one knows. But its quite clear the Braves do not care. They want the car fans, er, $15 per car fans. Its a no brainer deal for the Braves.

    There was obviously a total failure on the part of City of Atlanta to adequately invest in redevelopment around The Ted. That said, the Braves fought to keep the rail line out to capture parking revenue, and without rail, what is the catalyst? Not 82 games per year. So should the City spend hundreds of millions of dollars, seize private property, all at the behest of a billionaire corporation? Probably not.

    The Braves made their bed, then didn’t like it anymore. So, the found some rubes up north that would give them a half-billion dollars. Of course, no one has explained how a ballpark and surrounding infrastructure will be designed and built in half the time and with 25% less money than any ballpark of the past decade. But, who cares. Liberty Media is going to make a mint off of this when they sell the team.

    I’m annoyed enough to say I’ll never attend a Braves home game again. Over the next few years, I just want to sit back and watch the indictments flow because no public project like this gets shoved through Cobb County without something extremely dirty going on behind the scenes.

  122. D.N. Nation – I get that there is an inherent inner city versus (barely) suburbia issue here, but kindly leave the racism, politics and religion out of the discussion.

  123. For a lot of the reasons stated in @163, I still think this might be pretty far from a done deal. The one absolute positive to me, assuming this all comes to pass, is that it will make it much more likely that Liberty sells the team.

  124. I haven’t been monitoring this thread for most of the day, so I’m going to have to just say it here: please respect the no politics rule, and please cool it on the swearing. Feel free to talk about the team, and feel free to be mad. This decision obviously has a lot of political ramifications, and there are plenty of places to discuss those. But in the interests of comity, please don’t do it here. Talk about parking, the developers, and the money all you want. Just don’t talk about the politics.

    Here’s something from the AJC:

    Look for the city to treat the Braves’ departure as an opportunity to remake the area as a year-around, residential/entertainment center. And maybe someday, a place for horses to run. Deal’s office is quick to remind that pari-mutuel betting is still illegal, but there are persistent efforts at the state Capitol to change that.

  125. Thought I saw this posted before, but I’ll repost because it got no attention and is kind of an interesting exercise:

    http://www.royalsreview.com/2013/11/11/5087240/sb-nation-winter-meetings-simulation-debriefing

    This guy got 30 fans together, one for each team, with the main guy working as the free agents, and did a pseudo winter meetings, with each person doing all the transactions they think are necessary for the team. The braves guy traded Beachy and Gattis for some interesting returns.

  126. Anyone else really bummed that Ted Turner let some low level PR Rep give a canned response. The Mouth of the South roars no more.

  127. @168 – the best thing for the people of Summerhill and Mechanicsville – you know, the residents of the neighborhoods – would be to build a damned grocery store.

  128. Not sure if you’re joking, DN, but ATL council has been wanting to put a Cherokee casino in Underground for years. The “gambling’s a sin” bumpkins in the state house keep killing it.

  129. #169
    Not that it’s keeping me up nights, but another club trading for Brandon Beachy during the Winter Meetings?

    Considering that Beachy hasn’t pitched since early August, wouldn’t another club would want to see him on the mound again before it offered a starting catcher for him?

  130. Wonder if the new stadium will be hitter or pitcher friendly? I still say if Cobb County wants to empty its coffers, let them. From a selfish point of view, maybe this will help the Braves compete in the free agent market. And, as Sam suggests, let Atlanta invest in the inner city in a way that will actually improve the quality of life there.

  131. @178 – Removing Turner Field makes Summerhill a viable next growth area for revitalization, at least. The long arc for that has been ViHi growing into Little Five, which pushed the hipsters and artists to East Atlanta and Grant Park. Now EA and GP are being gentrified by the same processes, which should push the hipster/artist edge over toward Summerhill. The stadium was the big block there. Now it’s the interstate. But if you can build out Summerhill the way EA and GP have done, then you can have the West Side grow south and the East Point revitalization grow north, and suddenly you’re building Mechanicsville and West End up by default.

  132. @ajcbraves: #Braves Wren on Hudson: “I don’t know if optimistic is the right word. I would say that we’re hopeful. We would love to have him back.”

  133. Everyone got on Wren for letting Smoltz leave, but that worked out well as Smoltz got booted from the Red Sox and didn’t do anything special for the Cardinals, and ended the 2009 season with an ERA over six.

    If Hudson wants a lot of money, at his age and after that injury, I’d let him walk.

  134. @181: the issue may not be that he’s asking that much money, but that other teams are offering it to him. Everyone is saying he’s in pretty big demand.

  135. They had a hard time finding the physical cause of Ayala’s nausea. So they called it anxiety until they figured it out.

  136. @186 It’s hard to believe that no one knew that ligament existed until now. It will be interesting to see if more knee surgeries are successful as doctors learn more about this. It makes me wonder what else we don’t know about the human anatomy, despite our modern technology.

  137. @187, @185: It’s pretty common, actually. The stomach and intestines are densely tied to the nervous system and anxiety is linked, for example, to Crohn’s and a whole slew of other gastrointestinal disorders.

  138. Why is it that so many of the “yes, I like the move” comments (here and elsewhere) cite how great it is that the Braves are going to make so much more money?

    Since when have we gotten into the habit of rah-rah-ing corporate earnings at the expense of citizens(in this case, Cobb County’s for the financing and Atlanta’s for the culture)?

    Falls into the same category as bemoaning the fact that the Braves can’t get one of those TV deals that will add on another $5-6 bucks to everyone’s cable bill. Let’s all be corporate slaves already.

    Re: The “Freeway Revolts”

    Large highways can really seal off formerly adjacent neighborhoods from each other and make dead zones where blight can crop up big. I haven’t lived in Atlanta proper since I was 4, but I lived in Philly for a few years as an adult, and the city is still dealing with the impact of the freeway construction.

    Re: Casinos

    It’s not just about the morality of gambling, which isn’t in and of itself immoral. The real concern is the effect of large casinos on neighborhood QOL and economies, as well as the steep price in tax incentives casino developers are in the habit of making with the states and cities in which they want to develop.

    Re: Athens

    Neither here nor there (nor too relevant to the Braves in planning this new stadium), but I live in Athens, and I find Turner Field incredibly easy to get to by car. (Or, as easy as it can be for traveling 70 miles.) Having to cut across all of the packed Northern Suburbs at rush hour will deter me from attending as many games as I do, which was something like 11 of them this past season.

  139. location location location
    the Realtor’s crazed consummation
    for baseball the fan
    will watch where he can
    ignoring external damnation.

  140. Tulow is on the block. Wonder if he would be interested in playing second base? How good would our middle infield be then? Best ever?

  141. 193 – I don’t think Tulo will be traded, but he won’t be playing 2nd base for anyone. Watch for the Cards to overpay for his services if he’s actually getting moved.

  142. The Mets are/were interested in Tulo, but I thought I heard Colorado say rather firmly that he wasn’t available.

    #191
    The Tremont area of The Bronx is still feeling the impact of the Cross-Bronx Expressway. Beginning in the early ’50s, New York’s longtime “master builder” Robert Moses essentially split a formerly lively, self-sufficient neighborhood in half & pretty much destroyed it.

    It’s also thru years of studying Moses’ bridge-and-road projects that we learn how building more roads or lanes doesn’t really ease traffic; it actually creates more of it. Public transportation, on the other hand, can help remedy such an issue.

    Not that I’m holding out too much hope, but Cobb County might take note of those studies.

  143. Today Uni-watch linked to a cool Sporting News article from 1972 on the Braves new feather uniforms.
    :large

  144. “So, let’s say you go to Cumberland Mall and you’re having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and you want to go to the game,” Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee on proposed bridge from Galleria over 285 to new ballpark

  145. I’ve been thinking a good bit about this decision to move to Cobb and I can see different sides of the argument, but in the end I am still left with the feeling that it is an awful decision for the fans, for the city of Atlanta, and, in the long run, even for the Braves.

    First, I should note that I grew up in an unincorporated town in a rural part of a county that is only now becoming part of Atlanta’s southside exurban sprawl. I was lucky to have the opportunity to go to college in a different part of the country but came back after graduating and briefly spent some time living and working in Atlanta. Briefly, because I quickly realized that I was no longer in any meaningful sense “southern” and Atlanta seemed a dysfunctional city choked with cars flowing in from suburbs full of people who might as well have been from Mars insofar as we shared much in common.

    That was fifteen years ago, but I come back to visit fairly often and while the suburban counties still strike me as the same alien landscape I’ve been impressed by how rapidly Atlanta is changing for the better. It’s never going to be liveable in the way that a place like Portland is but the future is going to be determined by kids who were raised in the suburbs (or beyond) moving into the core. This is THE major 21st century demographic transformation, it’s happening all over the country and it can’t be stopped, even in the south, even by corruption, obstruction and incompetence. My sense is that the Braves, by chasing target fans in the northern suburbs, are going to be stuck with a shrinking fan base in the future. By 2027 we will be reading rueful stories about how the team is failing to capture key demographics and by 2037 their will be no choice but to try and find a site downtown.

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