• What will happen to Turner Field?


    ATLANTA - One big question that is looming after the announcement that the Atlanta Braves are moving to Cobb County is what will happen to Turner Field?

    Channel 2's Craig Lucie learned the stadium's future is not yet known, but at least one board member of the authority, that oversees the field, says it could be torn down.

    Lucie contacted just about every board member with the Fulton County Recreation Authority and only Tom Lowe would talk to Channel 2 Action News. Lowe has been a Fulton County Recreation Authority board member for 39 years.

    The Braves have spent more than $100 million improving The Ted, but that money will not be able to be recouped and Lowe said he thinks it could be torn down.

    Turner Field has been the home of the Braves since 1997 and now it could be leveled like the parking lot next to it.

    "It has come as a total surprise to me, and I still don't know much about it," Lowe said in a statement. "Transportation is a big factor and always has been. I think the stadium will probably be torn down."

    The Braves said they have invested nearly $125 million into the Ted for maintenance and improvements, but now they say it's up to the city of Atlanta and the Recreation Authority.

    Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city has, "…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."

    What people don't want to see happen to Turner Field is what happened in Stone Mountain. The Tennis Stadium was built for the 1996 Olympic Games, but is now inactive.

    One woman who drives by the tennis stadium daily is worried about The Ted's future after seeing the conditions there.

    "It will really go down," she told Lucie.

    But some Olympic sites and venues are still in use and maintained. The Olympic Torch is in good condition, The Georgia Tech Aquatic Center is used daily along with the Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds.

    The Atlanta Braves said even with the upgrades they have made, including the $15 million on the high-definition scoreboard and stadium suites, there are still logistical problems, including a lack of mass transit options.

    They also said there are not enough parking spaces.

    Turner Field's history started a few years before the 1996 Olympic Games. Protestors tried to keep the Ted from going up in 1993 after it was announced that the Olympics were coming to Atlanta.

    At the time, the site for Turner Field was just a patch of dirt.

    In 1996, Turner Field opened as the main stadium for the Olympics.

    "For Atlanta and for Georgia, the Olympics are the opportunity of a lifetime," said then-Gov. Zell Miller.

    With 85,000 seats, Turner Field served as the centerpiece of the summer games for all the world to see.

    The next year, the Braves moved in. Crews downsized and converted Turner Field into a baseball field.

    It replaced the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium across the street. Crews imploded the old stadium and turned it into a parking lot for Turner Field.

    Over the years, fans have packed The Ted for major events, including the 1999 World Series.

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