Via the Marietta Daily Journal:
The Atlanta Braves are expected to announce today the team plans to relocate to Cobb County with a new stadium being ready for the 2017 season. They will be leaving Turner Field after their 20 year agreement expires at the end of the 2016 season.
The new stadium will be built near the intersection of I-75 and 285. The current site is under contract and set to close in early 2014.
Details aren’t available, but one would surmise that the team will, like the Atlanta Falcons, push for a taxpayer-funded stadium.
Turner Field was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics and was converted for baseball for the 1997 season. The stadium, generally considered one of the best ballparks in MLB, will only be 20 years old when the Braves’ lease expires.
There’s no word on what will become of “The Ted.”
I really hope this report is a joke or otherwise wrong.
[UPDATE] I put in a call to the Braves’ press office to verify this. Left a message.
[UPDATE-9:13am] WSB spoken with Cobb County officials and the AJC has talked with team officials. It’s legit, folks, the Braves are moving to Cobb County.
[UPDATE-9:23am] AJC’s David O’Brien tweets: “#Braves confirm move to Cobb County in 2017. Remarkable how quiet they kept this behind-scenes maneuvering.”
[UPDATE-9:26am] Jim Galloway reports the “deal to move the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County involves $450 million in private financing arranged by the county and another $200 million put up front by the baseball team that first moved to Atlanta in 1965, we’re told.”
“There’s a Wednesday meeting at the state Capitol at which the Braves will discuss the move with Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed,” he added.
[UPDATE-9:30am] The Atlanta Braves just tweeted: “We are excited to announce plans to build a world-class stadium, which will open in 2017 at the NW intersection of I-75/I-285.” In a separate tweet, the team says, “We have secured a large tract of property at this location & will work to build a world-class ballpark for our fans.”
They are directing fans to HomeOfTheBraves.com for updates.
[UPDATE-9:42am] The Braves have posted a message from John Schuerholz, team president, in which he explains the reasoning behind the move.
[UPDATE-9:47am] Via Galloway, here’s a look at the location of the proposed new stadium.