Reed: Turner Field to be demolished in 2017

ATLANTA (WXIA) - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday morning that Turner Field will be demolished once the Braves leave after the 2016 season.

The mayor spoke at a Tuesday morning news conference, just a day after the Atlanta Braves stunned people across Metro Atlanta with their announcement of a move to a new stadium to be constructed in the Cumberland-Galleria area of Cobb County.

Reed said that revamping Turner Field according to the "very aggressive" demands of the Braves would have been a "$350 million problem" for the city that very well could have jeopardized the city's credit rating.

When asked about a comparison between the deal reached with the Atlanta Falcons for a new $1.2 billion stadium just west of downtown, Reed said that the deal reached with the Atlanta Falcons and the Braves stadium deal are not close in how they benefit the city.

The bulk of the financing for the Falcons new stadium - nearly $1 billion -- is slated to come from the Falcons themselves, while about $200 million would come from the city's hotel-motel tax. The mayor has emphasized that the financing burden would not be placed on the backs of Atlanta's residents.

Financing for the new Braves stadium is, at least at this point, more nebulous. The expected $672 million cost of the new stadium is slated to be split between the team and Cobb County. It is not known what form the public financing will take in that instance. A "letter of understanding" is set to be voted on by the Cobb County Commission at their meeting on November 26.

Reed said the team informed him last Thursday of their decision to move outside the city limits.

"We wanted to keep the Braves in Atlanta," Reed said. But the city, he said, was presented with taking on too much debt to move forward.

Reed says he anticipates an announcement of significant investment in the Summerhill community area where Turner Field sits. "We're not going to leave a vacant Ted," he said. The mayor went on to say that Turner Field would be demolished once the Braves leave after the 2016 season.


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