Phils make first stop at the Turner Field stadium, next year it’s the new Sun Trust Park for the Braves
The Phillies stop in Atlanta tonight to play the first of 9 games that the Phils will play there this season. The Braves have turned into a very bad team, perhaps by design, as they prepare to move to a brand new stadium next season in the Atlanta suburbs just off a major highway.
Rumors that the Braves have tanked the season have taken over as they have the worst team in the MLB so far in 2016. Atlanta used to own the NL East for a very good chunk of time from the early 90’s to 2005. In fact, the Braves finished in first place every year from 1991 to 2005 except in 1994, when the Braves finished in 2nd place.
This franchise in Atlanta has dipped down to the core in ’16 currently with a .233 winning percentage – perhaps worse than last year’s Phillies team that almost lost 100 games on the season. On top of that, the Braves finish up their last year at their current stadium before moving next year.
So what’s all the hubbub about getting a new stadium in Atlanta? The new stadium is going to be called Sun Trust Stadium and it’s being built about 25 miles north of the current stadium which is actually in Atlanta. The Braves have been playing in Turner Field since 1997, but the team argued that this stadium needed $350M in renovations, it didn’t have enough parking, and was too far from mass transit at about 3/4 of a mile away. The city of Atlanta countered that it couldn’t afford the improvements needed by the team for the Turner Field complex, so the team looked elsewhere and found this new location in Cobb County.
The new stadium for the Braves will be an exercise in luxury. A brand new Omni Hotel will be built overlooking the stadium with 260 rooms, Comcast will play an important part in the Atlanta Braves new location as well, they are relocating their Southeast headquarters to a building near the new Sun Trust Park and will provide high tech services and build a mixed use facility similar to the one in Philadelphia with bars, restaurants, and other attractions.
The plan surprised many residents of Cobb County, it was a classic sneak attack type of presentation with only 2 weeks notice before the stadium was announced and then voted on. Many residents didn’t even know what was going on, but by the time they figured it out, Cobb County would be backing a $397M investment into the Braves. The county commission voted 5-0 to approve it and was going to issue bonds to pay for the investment.