ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves are moving to Cobb County.
The Braves will be building a new stadium at Circle 75 and Windy Ridge Parkway, across the street from the Boy Scouts headquarters.
The Braves announced the move with a website, HomeofTheBraves.com Monday morning.
Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz made a recorded announcement on the website.
"We wanted to find a location that was great for our fans, makes getting to and from the stadium much easier, and provides a first rate game day experience in and around the stadium," said John Schuerholz. "Turner field, which we do not own, is in needs of hundreds of millions of dollars of upgrades. Unfortunately, that massive investment would not do anything to improve access or the fan experience. These are issues we simply cannot overcome."
The Braves released an overview statement on the website:
"This decision to move was not easy, and we have mixed emotions about leaving a ballpark that holds so many great memories. However, knowing that our lease will expire in 2016, we have devoted our time trying to secure the best option for our fans, our team and our organization. We believe this new site will be the best location for our fans and our organization for the next 30 years."
The Braves say the new location is at the geographic center of the Braves fanbase.
Cobb County Commission Chair Tim Lee released a statement Monday morning.
"The Atlanta Braves are a great organization and will be a welcome addition to Cobb County. Our focus is on finalizing an agreement that will bring jobs and economic growth to the area while enhancing the experience of sports fans from across metro Atlanta.
Atlanta has evolved over the years into a broader community that offers so much for so many. Cobb County is proud to be a part of the region's continued success."
Cobb County Community Improvement District representative Brookes Mathis confirmed the news to Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston at 8:40 a.m.
The Braves’ lease with Turner Field ends in 2016 and the stadium is set to open in April 2017.
The Braves have played in downtown Atlanta since moving here from Milwaukee in 1966 and have played in Turner Field since 1997.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed issued a statement Monday afternoon.
"The Atlanta Braves are one of the best baseball teams in America, and I wish them well. We have been working very hard with the Braves for a long time, and at the end of the day, there was simply no way the team was going to stay in downtown Atlanta without city taxpayers spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make that happen. It is my understanding that our neighbor, Cobb County, made a strong offer of $450M in public support to the Braves and we are simply unwilling to match that with taxpayer dollars. Given the needs facing our city and the impact of Turner Field stadium on surrounding neighborhoods, that was something I, and many others were unwilling to do. We have been planning for the possibility of this announcement and have already spoken to multiple organizations who are interested in redeveloping the entire Turner Field corridor. Over the next three years, we will be working with our prospective partners to bring residential and business development that is worthy of our city and strengthens our downtown. Those conversations will continue and I am excited about how we use the land that is now Turner Field, to be a tremendous asset for our residents, our city, and our region for years to come."
The Georgia Department of Transportation said the new stadium location was news to them as of Monday morning.
Stay with Channel 2 Action News for updates on this developing story. We have several reporters working to get reaction from Atlanta and Cobb officials as well as Braves fans.
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