Georgia State floats turning Turner Field into football stadium, has no idea how to pay for it

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.

2 comments on “Georgia State floats turning Turner Field into football stadium, has no idea how to pay for it

  1. I don’t know why the Braves don’t continue tol play a quarter of their home games a year at Turner Field. It is about time a team got two stadiums from public taxes, instead of just one. And a quarter of the MLB season is still more dates than an NFL team does.

  2. A 17 year old stadium is OLD? It’s time these cities all over the country stand up to these multi millionaires and say “no you pay for it”. And that’s not just for baseball but for all sports (NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA and MLS).

    Soon all team owners and the leagues will want new stadiums and arenas after 5 years.

    Wake up tax payers these owners and your crooked politicians are ripping you off in broad day light.

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