Documents: Millions to be spent on Turner Field improvement despite Braves move

by: Aaron Diamant Updated:

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ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves plan to move to Cobb County but not before taxpayers spend millions of dollars on upgrades to Turner Field.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant obtained documents that show a long list of capital improvements costing millions of dollars.

Those documents came out the same day as the Atlanta City Council took up a resolution as a last-ditch effort to keep the Braves at Turner Field.

"The cost of keeping the building up continues," Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond told Diamant.

The Atlanta Braves have said the Ted needs at least $150 million in upgrades. Documents from the city of Atlanta's Fulton County Recreation Authority, which owns and operates Turner Field, shows since 2009, taxpayers have already paid nearly $7.4 million on capital improvement projects at the Ted; nearly $1.5 million last year alone.

Those improvements include things like scoreboards, fire-suppression sprinklers, field lights, concrete repairs and a $2.5 million sound system.

"This is the ongoing cost of running a big-time stadium," Bond said.

But Bond worries keeping up with those costs is going to be a tough task without the Braves as the main tenant.

"These costs are not going to go away, and we're going to have to continue to address them, and that's why it becomes critical about what happens in the next couple of weeks," Bond said.

It's why Monday afternoon, Bond offered up an 11th-hour resolution instructing Mayor Kasim Reed to work to bring the Atlanta Braves back to the negotiating table with city leaders before the team signs any deal with Cobb County.

"And if that doesn't work, then we're going to have to find something else to do with that 17-year-old building that isn't going anywhere anytime soon," Bond said.

Early Monday evening, the council passed Bond's resolution. It isn't yet clear whether the resolution will make any difference, though.

Diamant got a text message from a spokesperson for Reed, saying, "We have no comment."



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