When the Atlanta Braves announced plans to move out of Turner Field for a new stadium in Cobb County last fall, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed immediately said he’d seek bids to redevelop the old (if you can call a 17-year-old stadium “old”) stadium site. And now he has at least four in hand, including one from Georgia State University to redo the Olympics-turned-baseball stadium into a college football stadium:
Georgia State is proposing repurposing Turner Field into a 30,000-seat football stadium and building another baseball stadium that will include Hank Aaron’s wall as part of the structure.
University President Dr. Mark Becker and Atlanta real estate development firm Carter provided the Atlanta Journal-Constitution an exclusive look at the proposal on Wednesday. The idea is more than just stadiums. They want to be partners in building an estimated $300 million development that will include retail, residential and student housing and will be paid for through a mix of public and private funds.
On the bright side, a retail and housing complex with two college stadiums is arguably a better use of the land than a Braves stadium and a bunch of parking lots. On the less bright side, nobody knows how much all this would cost or how it would be paid for, though given that Georgia State is a public university, ultimately the state seems likely to be on the hook for the bulk of it. So, good money after bad, or making lemons into lemonade? Too soon to tell.