The Atlanta Braves are moving from Turner Field to a new stadium in the Atlanta suburb of Cobb County for the 2017 season. The news, first reported by the Marietta Daily Journal, caught everyone off guard, considering that the Braves began play at Turner Field in 1997 after the demolition of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Turner Field was the former 1996 Olympic Stadium, and was modified for the Braves after the Games concluded. The news was later confirmed by the team.
The first question that immediately comes to mind – who's paying for this? Atlanta is already building a new stadium for the Falcons that will reportedly cost $1.2 billion, with $200 million of that (as of right now) coming from the city's hotel-motel tax. The Braves' new stadium won't even owned by the team, which will reportedly cost $672 million.
Here's a full list of the ballparks in MLB older than Turner Field: Fenway Park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Tropicana Field, Rogers Centre, Progressive Field, Kauffman Stadium, US Cellular Field, O.co Coliseum, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Angel Stadium, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, and Coors Field. Of those 13 parks, five have underwent (or will be undergoing) massive renovations. Turner Field was the oldest park in the NL East, but of the other four teams, two played in multi-purpose stadiums, one played in a park built in the 60s, and one played in a multipurpose stadium after relocating.
The team has already set up a website dedicated to providing information about the new stadium. On that site, we learn that the new stadium will seat 41,000 and that the team is moving in part to $150 million needed for upgrading infrastructure and an additional $200 million needed to improve the fan experience (wait, what?). The team is reportedly only paying $200 million of the costs, with $450 million being financed by the county.
To play devils advocate, the team has always hated the location of Turner Field. But this will be the third stadium the Braves have played in since moving to Atlanta from Milwaukee for the 1966 season, which seems absurd to think about. The resulting mess around the new stadium situation for the Braves will be something to keep an eye on over the next few months, especially heading into the 2014 season.