ATLANTA — It’s official. The Braves are moving.
The Atlanta Braves today informed the city of Atlanta they will vacate Turner Field following the end of the 2016 season and relocate to Cobb County.
“We couldn’t start real movement without having this notification from the team,” the Atlanta Business Chronicle quoted Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as saying. “All of our focus now is going to be collaborating with and listening to the neighborhoods.”
The Braves have played in downtown Atlanta since moving from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. The team played in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium until 1996 and moved into Turner Field, built for the 1996 Olympics, for the 1997 season.
The new 41,500-seat stadium will be smaller than Turner Field. In addition to the stadium, the Braves are building a mixed-use development surrounding the stadium.
Many residents have expressed concerns about the stadium’s location near the busy interchange of interstates 75 and 285 and the traffic the new stadium will generate. One study estimated more than 20,000 additional cars will pass through the area on game days.
A decision on how to reuse the former Turner Field site has not been made. Proposed reuses include a football and baseball stadium complex for Georgia State University, while another proposal calls for turning the site into a horse racing complex.