The people of 1997 were very different from us modern types. They had a brunette James Bond, Radiohead was still making awesome albums instead of farting into a vocoder for 40 minutes and nobody could make terrible jokes because Johnny Cash, Steve Jobs and Bob Hope were all still alive. If you wanted to tweet something you had to lean out of your living room window and just shout at strangers. We might as well have been living in the Stone Age.
That’s what they Atlanta Braves are realizing this week as they open their eyes to an ancient, assumedly made-of-papyrus-and-stones Turner Field. The 16-year old stadium will be going the way of the birds in 2017 when the Braves pack up and head out to the suburbs of Cobb County for greener pastures with better WiFi.
Here a statement-explanation (stateplanation) from Home Of The Braves about the move, which could just be WE GOT LOTS OF MONEY AND DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT AND MY IPAD DOESN’T WORK GREAT IN THE OUTFIELD in blockquotes.
Turner Field is a facility that was built for three weeks of use for the Olympics, but has now served us well for nearly 20 years. The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years.
Turner Field has served the Braves well since 1997, but it is in need of major infrastructure work, which will cost around $150 million. These upgrades are functional ones, such as replacing worn-out seats or upgrading the stadium’s lighting, and they would do little to significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million.
Those upgrades still wouldn’t address the logistical challenges outside the stadium – lack of consistent mass transit options, inadequate number of parking spaces and limited access to major highways.
I’ve never lived in Georgia, but I’m familiar enough with Cobb County to share this song with the Braves, which I hope they listen to before taking the trip down there.
If you get taken to jail in Cobb County and run into a big dude in an orange jumpsuit calling himself “Nailz,” run.
So what do you think? Do the Braves need a new stadium after 16 years, when teams like the Rays still have to play in big-ass Tupperware container? More importantly, is this reason enough for Jeffrey Loria to move to Marlins to Orlando in three years and build another billion dollar park?