The Union Recorder

Local Sports

November 11, 2013

Residents disappointed by Braves' planned move

MILLEDGEVILLE — Some residents around Turner Field said they were shocked Monday by the Atlanta Braves' announcement that the baseball team plans to build a new stadium in suburban Cobb County.

Surprise gave way to sadness and anger for many living near the existing stadium just south of downtown. Meanwhile, many in Cobb County said they were excited to welcome the Braves, even if some were a bit concerned about traffic and infrastructure.

Tracey Long, 41, has lived several blocks from Turner Field for about a decade and said she's very involved with her neighborhood. While out walking her dog Monday, she said she and other neighbors were disappointed by the news.

She hopes it's a negotiating tactic the Braves are using to force a better deal to keep them at Turner Field.

"It's our hope that this is a ploy, if you will, by the Braves organization to get the city of Atlanta to come through with a deal that's acceptable," she said, warning there could otherwise be local backlash.

However, Mayor Kasim Reed said in a release that the city was unwilling to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to keep the team in Atlanta. The Braves announced earlier in the day that they plan to move to a $672 million stadium about 10 miles north of downtown in 2017.

Long and her neighbors had been encouraged in recent years by talk about potential mixed-use developments bringing more housing, dining and entertainment options to the area around Turner Field.

"As far as we knew, the city was talking to developers and it was going forward, so this was a complete shock," she said.

Kristen Rogers, a 28-year-old IT project manager, said she bought her townhouse within view of Turner Field 2 ½ years ago because she thought being close to the stadium and potential new developments would be a smart investment.

"I guess I'll be selling," she said. "I think it will bring the value of my property down."

Rogers hasn't been to a game since she moved to the area, but enjoys the game-day atmosphere when the team is at home. She can see the stadium's giant screen from her roof.

Tiffany Bridges, 42, a stay-at-home mom who lives in the same row of townhouses, said she was disappointed. She blamed the city for dragging its feet on developing the area.

"Maybe they'd stay if the city would spruce up the neighborhood," she said. "You have people coming in from out of town for games and there's no shopping or restaurants or anything around here."

While she hasn't been to a game since she moved in about 18 months ago, her son loves to take his 2-year-old daughter to see the team play, and the whole family enjoys watching post-game fireworks.

Sammy Powell, an executive in a Cobb County engineering firm adjacent to the wooded area that is the proposed site for the new stadium, said he's thrilled. He shares Braves season tickets and owns part of the building that houses the firm where he works, so he said it's a win-win situation for him.

"If we stay in this building, I'll have the Braves stadium right next door, and if they buy us out we'll make a lot of money," he said.

Sheri Kell, who lives in East Cobb, had her first date with her husband at a Braves game at the previous stadium before Turner Field was built. She's excited.

"It's closer to home, so it's easier to navigate and to take the kids to a game on a weeknight," she said, adding new tax revenue, job creation and associated retail activity would benefit the county.

Pete Clemmons and his wife, Ofelia, said they think the new stadium complex will be a good thing for the county's economy, but expressed concerns about traffic.

The new stadium is to be built near the nexus of two major interstates, I-75 and I-285.

"I think there might be a backlash from the commuters who live in Cobb County or farther north and who drive home on I-75 from downtown in the evening" on game nights, Pete Clemmons said.

Elected officials in both communities echoed their constituents.

Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves said the Braves' decision to leave Turner Field will result in significant damage and blight to the surrounding community.

"There is no entity that can step in and fill the big shoes that the Braves will be leaving," he said, disappointed.

Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee said he looks forward to welcoming the Braves.

"Atlanta has evolved over the years into a broader community that offers so much for so many," his statement said. "Cobb County is proud to be a part of the region's continued success."


Text Only
Local Sports
  • State amputee golf tournament this week

    The Milledgeville Country Club will host the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament beginning Friday with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. for the four-person scramble prior to the individual stroke play portion the following two days.

    July 10, 2014

  • Kalie Todd.jpg Elite Gymnastics posts strong showing at nationals

    Competing on the national stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. June 11-15, Elite Gymnastics posted some of its best results in program history at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Gymnastics National Championship.

    July 9, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-26 Jayla Waller.jpg Former Bravette to play for Georgia College

    One of the most decorated players in Baldwin High School girls’ basketball history, Jayla Waller advanced to the collegiate level competing for Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. this past season as a freshman.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-21 Ramsey.JPG Amateur golf talent turns pro

    Professional golf is unforgiving and expensive.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-14 GMC summer basketball.jpg Bulldog basketball busy this summer

    Georgia Military Prep School boys’ basketball coach James Lunsford is notorious for working his players year-round to become better athletes and better students.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2312.JPG Ross a future star

    The numbers speak loudly for David Ross Jr.

    June 11, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-06 Blackbelt.jpg Mother-daughter combo make history at local karate studio

    History was made on Thursday, May 22 at Drouillard’s Karate Studio, as the school’s first mother-daughter combination in Mary Beth and Lindsey Atkinson tested and achieved the pinnacle black belt status on the same night.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_1061.JPG Youth explore tennis during GC camp

    Georgia College's tennis courts appeared to be a busy place on Wednesday afternoon.

    June 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • coach k camp.JPG Coach K's Soccer Camp kicks off with sweat

    Kids attending Coach K's Soccer Camp get their cleats dirty day one.

    June 3, 2014 3 Photos

  • 05-31 Cody Miller 3.JPG Miller’s versatility boosted Trojans this season

    Representing the John Milledge Academy baseball team well this spring, junior Cody Miller proved versatility is a key ingredient at the high school level as he led his team offensively and in pitching, earning him 2014 All-County Player of the Year honors.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo