According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the Atlanta Braves will no longer play their games in downtown Atlanta after the 2016 season. The Braves’ will reportedly move to a new location in Cobb County, just north of the city, after their 20 year lease with Turner Field expires.
— Mike Buteau (@MikeButeau) November 11, 2013
If true, this marks a historic change for both the city and team. The Braves have played in the same geographic location since relocating from Milwaukee in 1966. What is currently the parking lot for Turner Field was once Fulton County Stadium. In 1996, after Atlanta hosted the Olympics, Fulton County Stadium was demolished and the Braves moved into “The Ted.”
This is the second major stadium shakeup in Atlanta in less than a year. The Falcons have agreed to move from the Georgia Dome into a new $1.2 billion stadium in 2017. Unlike the Braves, the Falcons’ will remain in downtown Atlanta.
Considering its low attendance, the lack of public transportation, and lower income levels on the south side of Atlanta, the move makes sense for the Braves. The team is likely going after a more affluent fan base in north Atlanta suburbs, who is willing to spend money, but not fight traffic in downtown.
The city’s insistence to keep the Falcons in metro Atlanta does make the Braves’ move a little surprising. However, the new football stadium will see more of a multi-purpose facility than a baseball park.