Turner Field will be sold to Georgia State University – what we know about the sale

Once the Atlanta Braves head to Cobb County in 2017, Turner Field – and the land on which it resides – will be owned by Georgia State University.

The downtown university will partner with real estate firm Carter to develop the land around the stadium into a mixture of student housing, apartments and shops, according to AJC.com.

The stadium will become the new home of the Georgia State football team, and it’s likely to be retrofitted for football rather than being completely torn down and rebuilt , CBS Sports reported.

(More: How the Falcons played themselves out of the playoffs in just 10 weeks)

Proposals for the 70-acre redevelopment project were estimated at $300 million, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

“Today’s sale is a significant step forward in the continued revitalization of the Summerhill, Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh and Grant Park neighborhoods and strengthens Georgia State University’s position as one of the leading universities in the nation,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. “This acquisition will provide substantial benefits to the surrounding community, including long-term job creation and business expansion, and will enable our state’s largest public university to build an anchor for its campus, improving the student experience and supporting our city for generations to come.”

Georgia State’s football team, which plays in the Georgia Dome, will move to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium until the renovated Turner Field is ready for football, CBS Sports also said.

Call it a reward for the football team after making its first bowl game in program history, but the move closer to campus is desperately needed for Georgia State Athletics as a whole. Football attendance has been poor, and several of the other outdoor sports play at a complex that’s outside the perimeter, located nine miles from campus on the southeastern side of town. The current setup gives students virtually no incentive to attend sporting events.

While the baseball team will not be playing at Turner Field, there are plans to build a stadium near the current home of the Braves and future home of Panthers Football, and the other outdoor sports will also be moved to the same area. Instead of being nine miles from campus during home games, they’ll be right in the middle of the action.

Look for initial mock-ups of these new facilities in the coming months as the project officially gets underway.

Photo: flickr/Theodore Lee

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