We bought out first house in Grant Park back when it was ridiculously cheap and it was all we could afford. But we saw things like the Zoo and Turner Field, as well as easy Marta to Falcons games as a 'plus'. Im very sad to see it go. In fact, Im pretty pissed off.
Back after the Olympics, they were planning how to turn Olympic Stadium into TF. Some of you may recall this..Basically the Braves apporached the City and requested that they allow a Marta train 'spur' to be built in one of the parking lots outside the stadium. Not only did they ask for it, they agreed to pay for it's FULL COST ( including overlays) with revenue from future tix sales. The reasoning, at the time, was 'we have a whole lot of people, who would come to the game from the suburbs if the train dropped them off right in front of it. It would allow fans in Dumpwoody or Buckhead to drive to a marta station and 'park and ride'. It would be an alternative to parking lot nightmares'.
And guess who was only too happy to jump on? Marta, of course, who would have seen thier OWN revenues increase.
In short, it was a win-win.
Enter local politics as usual.
Some community organizers got a lot of the homeowners from Summerhill, Grant Park and the Memorial corridor ( where alot of restaurants are, succefful: close to TF...Six Feet Under, Republic, Rias, Daddy D's...there are 19 of them now) to 'protest' the Marta Sprur. The reasoning at the time, and I remember it well was that making it easier to let suburbanites get to the game and leave meant the neighborhood would have to deal with all the fuss of having TF, but reap none of the 'rewards'. The idea was shot down, and the 'Braves Shuttlebus' began in earnest.
The local rep at the time, Frank Redding Jr, approached then Mayor Gamblin' Billy Cambell and had the thing killed.
That guy now owns 'EZ parking lots' around TF. No joke. BTW, he lost his gig when he was recorded taking a bribe in a Red Lobster for killing a bill that would outlaw serving liquor in stripclubs...Good times.
So had they built that marta station, they might not be moving now...Might.
I can understand and accept 'why' they want to move. The city has done jacksquat about all the problems around there, because they are all feeding at the same trough. Think Mayor Mcstadium didn't know this deal was going down last week when he was a 'candidate'? Not likely. How do you buy 60 acres in Atlanta without someone knowing? Hell, that's Walt Disney-like genius! So that asshole definitely knew..Check out this lil gem from 2012:
"City officials ultimately want to do more than just bring new energy to the wasteland of parking lots that include remnants of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
They want to ease concerns of Braves fans and residents who are frustrated that new development hasn’t taken root around the stadium. A special tax district established in the area has raised $386,000 in property taxes since it was created in 2006 but has yet to leverage those funds, or other incentives, to foster economic growth there.
And a new sports and entertainment district could appease the Braves, whose lease on Turner Field and nearby parking lots ends in 2016, potentially freeing them up to leave the area. While team owner Liberty Media is unlikely to move the Braves, team executives recently met with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to press for ways to add a jolt to the neighborhood.
“Mayor Reed values our organization staying in Atlanta, and this initiative is something that came out of that discussion: A public-private partnership that keeps the Atlanta Braves in the city of Atlanta,” said Mike Plant, the team’s vice president for business operations.
City officials created the Stadium Neighborhoods tax district six years ago with the hope it would spur construction of new parking decks anchored by retail and other developments. But a city audit released this summer shows city officials have made no concrete progress in reaching those goals."http://www.ajc.com/news/business/city-h ... ld-/nSBM8/
Getting the big picture here? Not only did they raise a 'special tax' on the neighborhood to 'impove it', they didnt really do a damn thing. So, after subsidizing thier incompetance, now we lose the team!
The mayor is saying NOW (in about 10 years) we will have an 'Atlantic Station' type 'development. Eat/work/play. Oh, BTW look who contributed the max amount to his *cough cough* re-election campaign. here's a couple names that should ring some bells...
How about John Portman, Tom Cousins, Frank Carter and Don Childress? Yep. ohhh yeah...Lawyers from Fuqua. Also, Arthur Blank stroked out a nice check too, I believe...great work if you can get it.
Basically these guys are going to get the sweetest sweetheart deal EVER, razing an Olympic stadium and redeveloping it for pennies on the dollar, and not only that they are going to be portrayed by City Hall that they are doing this 'for the good of the community' . It is sickening.
All that being said: I totally get why they want out. It might be a good thing for the team, too. Clearly most of thier fanbase is north of the city. If they can pull it off, thier revenues could rise, which means they could put more $$ into the product in a sport where $$ and TV contracts make the team. They would be able to compete.
But, awhile back when the Falcons stadium shenanigans was going down, I suggested that Blank should NOT keep the stadium downtown. Working with the city for the next 20 years was one of the reasons why. But I guess that's what 200 million dollars can do.
I am going to miss going to Turner Field. http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2013/11/11/ ... rner-field