ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
91°
Sct Thunderstorms
H 94° L 76°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    91°
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 94° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    86°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 94° L 76°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    77°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 73°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Baseball
Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb
Close

Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb

Raw Video - Braves Stadium Relocation News Conference

Braves plan to build new stadium in Cobb

The Atlanta Braves plan to build a new stadium in Cobb County and move there from Turner Field at the start of the 2017 season, team officials said Monday.

Braves executives John Schuerholz, Mike Plant and Derek Schiller, in a meeting with a small group of reporters, said the new ballpark will be built at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the Galleria/Cumberland Mall area. They said the team has “secured” approximately 60 acres of land for the project.

The Braves said the stadium is projected to cost $672 million, including parking, land and infrastructure, and will be built in partnership with Cobb County.

Schiller said the Braves will be a “significant investor” in building the stadium but refused to disclose how much the team will spend. “At this point in time, we are working with Cobb County, and when those details of our exact arrangement become final, we will let you know,” Schiller said.

The Braves officials also declined to provide specifics regarding the public funding. “It is through Cobb County, and Cobb County will be responsible for delineating the various buckets of dollars,” Schiller said.

Schiller said there is not a signed agreement, but he and Plant said they are 100 percent confident at this point that the stadium will be built.

“Yes, 100 percent,” Schiller said.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in a statement issued Monday afternoon, seemed to concede that the Braves are headed to Cobb.

“… We have been working very hard with the Braves for a long time, and at the end of the day, there was simply no way the team was going to stay in downtown Atlanta without city taxpayers spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make that happen,” Reed said. “It is my understanding that our neighbor, Cobb County, made a strong offer of $450M in public support to the Braves and we are simply unwilling to match that with taxpayer dollars.”

Reed concluded his statement by saying he is “excited” about potential future uses of “the land that is now Turner Field.”

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig also weighed in on the Braves’ plans, saying in a statement that MLB “fully supports their decision to move to a new ballpark.”

The Braves become the second Atlanta sports franchise planning to open a new stadium in 2017. The Falcons have a deal to build a new $1.2 billion retractable-roof stadium just south of the Georgia Dome.

“We didn’t take this decision lightly,” said Schuerholz, the Braves’ president. “We’ve played in our current facility for quite some time, and it was with mixed emotions that we made this decision because we have many great Braves baseball memories that occurred for all of us … in that facility. But we are quite enthused about where our new facility will be.”

It was not immediately clear where the process of governmental approval of the project stands in Cobb County.

The Braves have played in downtown Atlanta since moving here from Milwaukee in 1966 and have played in Turner Field since 1997.

The team officials said the Braves will play the next three seasons at Turner Field before moving to Cobb. The Braves’ 20-year lease at Turner Field expires after the 2016 season. Turner Field is owned by the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority. The Braves officials said they have informed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed of their plan to move.

Schuerholz said the new stadium will “thrive with action and vitality 365 days a year, not just game days. And we plan to transform the surrounding area into not only a new ballpark but a mixed-use destination.”

The Braves officials said the stadium will be open-air and will seat approximately 41,000 to 42,000 people, almost 10,000 fewer than Turner Field. Schiller said the team plans to sell naming rights to the stadium.

“We expect that by having (fewer) seats it to be an intimate arrangement for our fans and provide a number of experiences that will be different than what fans are currently used to at Turner Field,” Schiller said.

Turner Field would need about $150 million in infrastructure work, including replacement of seats, upgrading lighting and plumbing, etc., to remain viable, according to Plant. “And that’s nothing that is going to enhance our fan experience, which is very important to us,” he said. He said enhancing the fan experience would cost “upward of an additional $200 million.”

“We also recognized that what is insurmountable is we can’t control traffic, which is the No.1 reason why our fans don’t come to more games,” Plant said. “That over the last decade has grown immensely. … We are under-served by about 5,000 parking spaces. All of those things contribute to some real challenges for us that we just, looking forward, didn’t believe could be overcome.”

The stadium will occupy about 15 acres of the 60-acre site, Schiller said, with the rest to be used for parking, mixed-use development and green space. The land is being purchased from the Saul Trust, Plant said.

Schiller said the new stadium location has an Atlanta address and “is near the geographic center of our fan base.”

“It’s also important that the access around the stadium … is greatly enhanced (by) having those major road ways — I-75, I-285, Cobb Parkway — and having a whole range of improved access points and ways to get to and from the stadium,” Schiller said. “… We fully believe that the access to the site will be greatly enhanced for our fans. That starts with roadways. Today, most of our fans arrive via car, and getting to this (new) site via car from all sorts of different directions is easier.”

The Braves said they expect to start construction on the stadium in the second half of 2014. Schiller said Phase 1 of the adjoining mixed-use development will open at the same time as the stadium. He said that development will include entertainment, retail, restaurants and potentially hotels.

Schiller said “plans call for” the stadium to be owned by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which owns the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Schiller said the Braves have agreed to cover any cost overruns beyond the $672 million price.

“It’s an exciting project,” Schiller said. “It’s ambitious, and it is in many ways first of it kind in that it links the stadium and the mixed use development opening all at the same time.”

The Braves had been in discussions over the past year with city officials about potential development of a mixed-use project around the Turner Field parking lots, as well as how to deal with issues such as traffic, infrastructure improvements and fan enhancement improvements.

“We didn’t make the progress we needed and felt comfortable with for the long-term future of our organization,” Plant said, “and fortunately we were able to identify a great opportunity and great partnership to accommodate all those things that were important to us and our fans with Cobb County.”

“The issues that were important to us were insurmountable in really working out an arrangement to go forward. So we started looking at other options… and this option in Cobb County quickly developed.”

Plant said the process “started in early July with an exploratory lunch that I had with the (Cobb County Commission) chairman, Tim Lee.”

Braves owner Liberty Media is on board with the project, Schuerholz said.

“We’ve shared all of the details with them … down to the various smallest of details,” Schuerholz said. “They’re excited about it. They’re supportive of it. … Their response is, ‘We like this. We gave you the green light to go forward.’ And we have.”

Schuerholz said he does not expect it to be a problem to sell naming rights to a new baseball stadium at the same time the Falcons seek to sell the name of their new facility.

“We think the Braves brand is a gold-standard brand, and we think it stands alone,” Schuerholz said. “We can sell ourselves. We don’t need to worry about what our competition is (doing).”

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A Chicopee, Massachusetts, mother is accused of abandoning her 4-year-old son after he was found wandering without clothes Saturday afternoon. According to police, the boy was found alone in a Family Dollar store without clothes on. >> Read more trending news Police told WGGB-TV that the boy “may be autistic.”  The names of the boy and the mother were not immediately released. Read more here.
  • An overweight passenger on a Spirit Airlines flights from Las Vegas to Denver said he was embarrassed and humiliated by the airline when it took away one of two seats he had booked in order to fly more comfortably. >> Read more trending news Jose Cordova told Denver 7 that he bought two seats on both his original flight to Vegas and for the return trip because of his size. 'I am a big person and I know one seat wouldn't fit for me, and to be comfortable, I wanted to have two seats,' Cordova said.  'You don't want to overhang on someone else's lap, so you want to make sure you have that extra seat without bothering anybody.'  Cordova said his flight to Vegas was fine, but Spirit overbooked his return flight and took one of his seats without asking. >> Related: United Airlines changes policy after man dragged from flight “They stole one of his seats. They sold it out from under him,” Denver 7 quoted one of Cordova’s friend Scott Tenorio as saying. Spirit apologized to Cordova and said it was refunding the cost of his flights. It also said it was investigating what happened.
  • Andy Szasz was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and beat the initial cancer after receiving treatment, but after falling ill with pneumonia in December, he was rushed to the hospital and placed into an induced coma the next day when he stopped breathing. >> Read more trending news Doctors at Southampton General Hospital in England estimated he would be in a coma for a week, but they were surprised when he woke up after just four days with the help of his dog, Teddy, a 4-year-old schnauzer-poodle mix. While waiting for him to come out of a coma, Andy’s wife, Estelle, received special permission to bring Teddy into the hospital. Pet visits usually take place outside the hospital, but hospital staff made an exception for Teddy. Inside Edition reported that Andy woke up from his coma as soon as Teddy entered the hospital room and started barking. “Ted is such a remarkable little dog in many ways,” Andy said. “He’s clever, loving, loyal, funny and a right little character.” >> Related: Mastiff named Martha crowned world’s ugliest dog Fiona Hall, senior sister for the general intensive care unit, told the Daily Mail that having pets around during recovery can be incredibly beneficial for patients, their friends and families, and hospital staff. “It can be motivational, aiding recovery, and can provide a pleasant and familiar experience in what can otherwise prove to be a long, uncomfortable journey in hospital,” she said. For helping his owner wake up, Teddy was recognized by the U.K.’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the same organization Andy adopted him from, under a special animal category. He was the only animal to win an award under the newly-created category.  >> Related: Dog saves family with nine children from house fire
  • Police in Georgia are hoping surveillance video that captured a violent attack will help them find the people responsible. Video shows a restaurant owner and her teenage daughter being beaten by two customers Thursday afternoon in Baxley, Georgia. >> Read more trending news The victims told police the suspects were unhappy with their order. The verbal argument turned violent when one of the suspects began punching the restaurant owner repeatedly. When the victim’s teenage daughter came out of the car to break up the fight, the male suspect punched her in the face. WJCL reported that Baxley police have issued warrants for the suspects, Nathaniel Smith and Latasha Smith. The pair could be charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. The suspects drove away from the restaurant in a cream or tan Cadillac Escalade with tag number REU8495. Officials said they headed north on Highway 144. Anyone with any information about the assault is asked to call the Baxley Police Department at 912-367-8305 or the 911 call center at 912-367-8111.

The Latest News Videos