The Atlanta Braves made the stunning announcement Monday that they’re leaving downtown Atlanta, their home for almost 50-years, for the suburbs and a 672-million dollar new stadium at the traffic-choked intersection of Interstates 75 and 285 in Cobb County.
That means Turner Field is likely headed for the wrecking ball, even though it’s only been open for 17 years.
It’s in good company. The Falcons demanded a 1.2-billion dollar new stadium, dooming the Georgia Dome which is just 21 years old.
Arenas like that are simply too expensive to throw away like a pair of shoes.
It’s offensive for sports teams to hold taxpayers hostage, threatening to move on unless they get their way, which usually means a big chunk of taxpayer money. Cobb County will pay about 450-million dollars to lure the Braves.
County leaders haven’t said where that money will come from.
One thing is certain. Fans can expect already outlandish ticket, parking, and concession prices to skyrocket. Braves officials promise their new stadium will “enhance the fan experience.”
That’s probably true, but it’s a shame that fewer fans will be able to afford the experience.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.