The 8 Reasons Why Closing Up Chop At Turner Field Isn't All That Bad

By Larry Luk / @LarryLuk

Many ATLiens wore their A-Town Frowns today upon hearing Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz's announcement of the team's intentions to build a new stadium in Cobb County. Before swearing to never chop another day, I urge you to take a breath and consider why this could be great for Braves Country.


  • The Atlanta Braves have announced that they will be moving to a new stadium at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 (Cobb County) in 2017.
  • The Atlanta Braves do not currently own Turner Field.
  • The lease on Turner Field runs out at the end of the 2016 season.
  • Turner Field needs $150 million in infrastructure work alone, not related to the "fan experience." An additional $200 million would come out of pocket from the Braves if they were to upgrade said "fan experience."
  • Cost of new stadium is $672 million.
  • Cobb County has offered $450 million in public support.
  • The City of Atlanta and the Braves have not been able to reach a deal. Mayor Kasim Reed stated, "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."
  • The Atlanta Braves will not be changing their name or logo.


A knee-jerk reaction might sound like this: "Cobb Braves? Good luck in the suburbs!"

Let's chill the f*** out for one second. Do you realize that the New York Mets don't play downtown? The New York Jets and Giants don't play downtown. The Dallas Cowboys don't play downtown (well, they barely play football). I don't have time to properly list all the professional teams that don't play downtown in their respective cities. Get over it.

They are the Atlanta Braves, not the Fulton Braves or the Cobb Braves.

It doesn't make financial sense to renovate Turner Field. There are so many other issues, outside of the facilities, where the current location fails to meet expectations. Let's be real, if Fulton County raised taxes for a new stadium, even more people would be frowning.

Cobb County is still Atlanta.


How people get to and from this new stadium is still to be determined. Reactionaries are citing the lack of MARTA presence in Cobb County. The Braves have noted, "Easier access to and from major roadways with a variety of other transportation options" for the new location. Let's hope they can follow through on this promise. It is now November 2013 — they have until April 2017 to figure it out. Everyone calm down and give them a chance.

Real talk though: Atlanta is a driving city.

Much like Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville and other cities in the South, we cannot fully rely on public transportation to show up on time for work, school or baseball. MARTA IS NOT SMARTA, and the Braves know this. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., and the Braves want their fans in their seats. If you've ever been to a Braves, Hawks, Thrashers (RIP) or Falcons game, one thing remains true: Fans cannot arrive on time. Blame downtown traffic and MARTA.

I can't say that I love Cobb County, but I can definitely say that I hate driving to South Atlanta at 6:00 p.m. on a Friday. A friend on Facebook posted this: "I work 5 blocks or so from the Ted. It takes me longer to make that drive than it does to get to the new location." As an in-town resident, I'm ecstatic for the relief on downtown traffic. Currently, the intersection of I-75 and I-285 is rough during peak traffic hours, but they have four years to find a solution.


"Braves Country" is actually more hardcore in the new location. These folks have (and stay) committed to driving to Braves games.

Do you know what this tells me? All of y'all in-towners complaining about this move are the dudes that barely buy tickets to Braves games. You rely on free and dirt-cheap tickets. Your seasonal game attendance never hits double digits. Your opinions are strong, but you only watch games on TV. How can you be mad at the Braves for wanting to make things more convenient for people that make it rain at The Ted? You want the team to win, right? They have to pay Heyward, Freeman, Simmons and the Upton Bros, and you aren't doing your part. Shame on you. If you don't go to Braves games, you can continue to watch them on TV if you want, but shut your mouth, please?!?

Braves fans complain that weekday home games don't sell out. There are two reasons:

  1. Turner Field has the fourth highest seating capacity in baseball (49,000). It's hard to make that place look full. The new stadium will seat roughly 41,000 - 42,000. Braves games are going to appear fuller on TV. I promise you this.
  2. People who actually buy Braves tickets have a hard time getting to and from South Atlanta. By the way, do you know what South Atlanta looks like on non-game days? That's also how it looks one hour after a game ends, except it's dark outside and you're wondering if your car is sitting on cinder blocks. How great would it be to have a place to chill with the homies pre and post game?


There is not enough parking at Turner Field. On big game nights, getting a parking pass for Turner Field requires so much foresight, planning and luck that many fans resign themselves to parking in nearby lots.

Choosing a lot to park in is like playing Russian Roulette with your night. So many lot owners are in cahoots with the Atlanta Police and a local towing company called A-Tow. You pay $20 to park, you go into the game and the lot attendants call the towing company. IT TAKES AT LEAST THREE HOURS AND $130 TO GET YOUR CAR BACK, POSTGAME. You don't get home until 2:00 in the morning. MY CAR GETS TOWED EVERY SEASON! That ain't right!

Turner Field is surrounded by attractions. World-class convenience stores and fast-talking drug dealers will make you wish you just stayed at home.

Okay, I'm exaggerating a little. The area is tailgate central. It's a parking lot mecca and I love tailgating, but it'd be nice to have something else to do in the area. Peeing in a port-o-potty loses its charm when you do it 25+ times a season. If I hear Florida Georgia Line blasting out of a Dodge Durango one more damn time …


Turner Field is cruddy! It was built for a three-week-long Olympic stint in the summer of 1996. It has lasted us this long, but we can't expect it to last for the next generation of baseball fans. Go to any other Major League Baseball stadium not named Tropicana Field and you'll see what we're missing here in Atlanta. AT&T Park in San Francisco is majestic. PNC Park in Pittsburgh is another favorite of mine. Why can't we have a state-of-the-art facility to watch baseball? I wanna tweet ignorant things while I'm at the game! I need a network!

You already know that a new stadium gets us the MLB All-Star Game and I'm going. You complainers can watch on TV, aight?

Let's talk about food for a second. At Mariners games, you can eat sushi! At Giants games, you can eat the best garlic fries on the planet! The Mets have a damn Shake Shack in the stadium! Even with the recent additions of Rathbun's Steak Sandwiches, H&F Burger and Waffle House, all the food options at Turner Field are gut busters! Let's dial it up a notch ATL. Just because I'm at a baseball game doesn't mean I should accept horrible food. Our stadium food should elevate our baseball experience, not make us run to the bathrooms. And don't get me started on the bathrooms.


One thing that cannot be replicated or replaced will be the location where history took place. What y'all don't already realize is that Fulton County Stadium, the place where Hank Aaron earned #755 the hard way, has already been demolished. It's a parking lot, folks. I certainly hope his legacy and the Braves' history will be incorporated into the design of the new stadium. That remains to be seen, but I'm willing to bet that the pennants and ring of honor signage will leave Turner Field and be proudly displayed in the new stadium.


You will not be able to see the Atlanta skyline from the new Braves stadium. Do you care? I'm not sure if I care. The view is great, but it's from the cheap seats. No offense, but if you're enjoying this view, you're probably not dropping much skrilla with the organization. Losing the skyline is such a minor sacrifice for an amazing facility with great options for food, parking and pre-/post-game activities.

This isn't just about giving Turner Field a makeover. This isn't a band-aid for a few years. This decision is bold and will change the future of the team, the fans, and Fulton and Cobb counties. One county is losing a major business, and another is gaining a great tenant. If you want someone to blame, point it towards city officials for not stepping up their game when addressing public transportation and properly revitalizing South Atlanta.

Bottom line: Win a World Series, and everyone will shut up. Do your thing, Braves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *