By Tank Spencer

The Atlanta Braves are moving out of the downtown ghetto and into Cobb County about seven miles from midtown. The ballpark should be a much-welcomed upgrade to Turner Field. I was never sold on Turner Field as a great ballpark. Don't get me wrong, I've had some good times there and plan to have more this season. (The Red Sox are in Atlanta Memorial Day. I'll have a recap of the experience and photos from the trip in an upcoming blog.)

The new park is to open in 2017.

I never saw Turner Field as a grand location. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. It neighbors one of the worst, most rundown areas of Atlanta proper. If you've tried to park anywhere other than the main lots, you REALLY know what I mean. Hopefully the new neighborhood is better and all of the plans show it should be.

The park plans include practically a new town. It has the stadium, an actual park, shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and around 500 residences. The project is projected to cost $672 million. Cobb County taxpayers are to chip in $368 million of that.


Seeing the first renderings of the park, my first thought: Where's the shade? That's the number one thing needed in Hotlanta. A mid-summer game there is probably similar to the 7th level of hell. I don't think I'd be satisfied unless it was a domed, climate-controlled stadium. The Braves will add shade and respite from the heat. The club says the roof on the new stadium will be 90-feet tall and three times the size of the one at Turner Field. Also, all levels will be air conditioned on the concourses.

What is a modern project without a water feature? Apparently outdated. Every new project has to include some kind of water attraction. This new stadium will include a one acre pool that includes fountains that will shoot water into the air when the Braves hit a homer. Frankly, I'd rather see Chief Noc-A-Homa do his dance in his teepee.


These are interesting views of how big the baseball/shopping/business community will be and its proximity to Midtown.