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Good-bye Atlanta Braves!

Turner Field to be Demolished in 2017

11/15/2013, 9:29 a.m.
In three more years, the statue of baseball great Henry Aaron will be moving 12 miles north to Cobb County as the Atlanta Braves have announced the team is relocating to a proposed site near I-285 and I-75 North. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he wanted to keep the Braves in the city but couldn’t beat the offer made by Cobb County. Photo by Stan Washington.

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In 2017, the Braves plan to move from downtown to Cobb County. Photo by Stan Washington.

The news of the Atlanta Braves moving 12 miles north of Atlanta to Cobb County has caused more concerned and reaction among Atlanta area residents than the recent election. Very few people seem to have cared about what kind of people were being elected to office.

It was a “better deal” by Cobb officials that moved Braves from their current location where they have been since 1966, said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Tuesday in reaction to the move.

The news of the Atlanta Braves moving 12 miles north of Atlanta to Cobb County has caused more concerned and reaction among Atlanta area residents than the recent election. Very few people seem to have cared about what kind of people were being elected to office.

It was a “better deal” by Cobb officials that moved Braves from their current location where they have been since 1966, said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Tuesday in reaction to the move.

At the request of Reed, he and Cobb County officials met with Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday to talk about the move. Deal said he would not get involved in matter.

During his city hall news conference, Reed said that the Braves’ current home Turner Field will be demolish after the team moves to their new home in 2017.

"We’re going to have a master developer that is going to demolish the Ted and we’re going to have one of the largest developments for middle-class people that the city has ever had," he said, referring to the stadium’s nickname.

The mayor said Atlanta had hoped to keep the team in the city but could not afford to do so. He says the city would have had to take on $150 million to $250 million in debt to make the improvements the Braves wanted at Turner Field.

Reed’s decision to let the Braves walk came just a few months after the mayor faced tough criticism for pushing through a plan to use at least $200 million in public money to support a new NFL stadium downtown. While the city made a high-profile effort to help secure a new $1.2 billion, retractable-roof stadium for the NFL’s Falcons, talks with the Braves quietly broke down over the summer.

The Braves unexpectedly announced Monday they are moving in 2017 to a new 42,000-seat, $672 million stadium about 10 miles from downtown in suburban Cobb County, apparently swayed by a lucrative financial package.

Reed said Monday that the city couldn’t match the $450 million being offered by one of Atlanta’s sprawling northern suburbs, though Cobb officials wouldn’t confirm that amount. It wasn’t immediately clear how the county of some 700,000 people plans to raise the money or whether it will require a vote of the taxpayers.

Mike Plant, the Braves executive vice president of business operations, said the team has not signed a contract with Cobb County, but he’s "100 percent certain it will happen.’’

Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee said the team is working to finalize a memorandum of understanding that would be presented to the full commission at its Nov. 26 meeting.