If you’ve gone to a Braves game in the last two decades, you know how bleak the surroundings of Fulton County Stadium/Turner Field have been. If you’re not going to the game, you’re not going to that part of town.
There’s just nothing to do around the stadium.
Now, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, there are at least 50 acres near the stadium available for development, and a slew of developers are looking to win the rights to build. What they want to erect in those empty parking lots and urban spaces is a sports and entertainment district that would give fans a reason to get down to the ballpark early and hang around to dine and assemble after the game.
One of the developers, according to the report, is the same group that was behind the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The new home of the Brooklyn Nets also contains a theater that seats 3,500 to 6,000, to be used for theatrical events, boxing matches and more, according to the arena’s website. So it’s clear this group builds with more than just the game in mind.
I’ve been to other baseball parks around the nation, and one of my favorite parts of the gameday experience is when gameday isn’t contained inside the stadium. Busch Stadium in St. Louis has restaurants and bars within walking distance, so you have a chance to fill up on good food before entering the stadium, and you can get cheap(ish) drinks at the bars after the game. Additionally, you have a chance to go somewhere to watch more baseball (or other sports).
That might be the future of Turner Field’s surroundings.
What do you think, fellow Braves fans? Would this keep you downtown for longer when you go to Braves games, or is this an idea that will crash and burn?