The Atlanta Braves announced that they are leaving Turner Field after the current lease expires in 2016 and move to Cobb County, where taxpayers will supply $450 million of the estimated $672 million to build a new stadium.
The new stadium will be built near the intersection of I-75 and 285.
As many baseball fans know, Turner Field is what remains of the Olympic Stadium that was built for the 1996 Atlanta games.
The Braves website posted a message as part of their reasoning for the move:
The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years.
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.
Though that $350 million is about half the cost of the new $672 million stadium, building in Cobb County will have the benefit of taxpayers subsidizing the lion’s share of the cost.