The Atlanta Braves having two state-of-the-art baseball stadiums by 2017. TFM.
The Atlanta Braves announced today that once their lease at Turner Field is up in 2017, they will be moving into a brand new ballpark in Cobb County, northwest of downtown Atlanta. Many people are already wondering why the Braves, who play in the relatively new Turner Field (it opened for baseball in 1997 after serving as an Olympic facility for the ’96 Summer Olympics), would want or need to move stadiums. It seems wildly unnecessary, after all. To answer this question I’ll simply quote my favorite line from Goodfellas: “Fuck you. Pay me.” That’s why the Braves are moving, basically. They want to make more money and they really don’t give a shit how it looks. That, my friends, is a TFM.
It’s hard to blame the Braves for wanting the move. The team has a sub-industry standard TV deal, which sucks because other teams make obscene amounts of money off of TV revenue, which naturally leads to larger payrolls. If they want to increase revenue, a new stadium would certainly be an excellent way to do that. Part of me would be happy if the somewhat frugal Braves increased their payroll and were able to land some decent free agents (or, more importantly, re-sign/extend their plethora of young talent). However, the other part of me realizes that the last two times the Braves loosened their purse strings, they signed B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla to monster contracts. So, uh, maybe just stick with financially conscious decisions that require deep thought, because every time someone hands Frank Wren a stack of cash and says, “Have fun,” he spends it more irresponsibly than a recent divorcee at a high end strip club.
The other reason for the move has to do with fanbase logistics. While I’m not an Atlanta native, everything I’ve heard about the commute to Turner Field is that it’s essentially like sitting in the waiting line for hell. The commute is long and congested and, aside from Turner Field itself, the fans end up in a pretty crappy part of town. Where the Braves plan on moving, meanwhile, is right in the heart of their fanbase, most whom hail from the northern part of Atlanta. The organization believes that being closer to their core fanbase will increase attendance, and thus revenue. Check out this map of 2012 ticket sales to see what I mean.
Though, in theory, the move makes logistical sense, many commenters from around the internet have said traffic in the part of town the Braves plan to move is as bad, if not worse, than around Turner Field. On top of that, the MARTA (Atlanta’s public rail line) does not currently extend to the new stadium site. Again, I have no idea if the commute will be better or worse, but it sounds like a wash from everything I’ve read.
I’ve been to Turner Field once in my life, in 1998, and my two lasting memories were, 1) I was super pissed that I missed Maddux, Glavine, AND Smoltz, and instead had to watch old balls Dennis Martinez suffer from arthritis while getting beat by the Red Sox, and 2) John Rocker sprinting like a demon horse on steroids from the bullpen to the mound. The latter was pretty boss. Oh, also, some redneck sitting in front of my family was just crushing these huge beers that were served in a tomahawk shaped cup or whatever. Do they still have those? If so, I hope they find their way to the new stadium. And there better be a damn Waffle House too.
Here’s to the house that Heyward built, I guess.
[via Home of the Braves]