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I’m disappointed in the city of Atlanta and probably not for what you think

November 13, 2013

I’m going to take a moment to beat a dead horse and throw in my two cents as to why I am dismayed and heartbroken over the Braves move. Like the UrbanCommuter, I’m a baseball fan. I regularly attend Braves games, I’ve never had a problem with the seats, the lighting, or the parking because I take MARTA. But the reason why I’m on the “Screw the Atlanta ‘Burbs” bandwagon is this –

Why is our city so damned disposable?

We’re now slated to tear down two perfectly good, multi-million dollar pieces of infrastructure because we changed our minds about what makes an appropriate roof and how much money parking should bring in. The oldest building in this city dates back to 1992.

When you think about the iconic baseball stadiums, the ones that everyone should see before they die, they’re Fenway, Wrigley, or Camden, which, while being a relatively young ballpark, is still older than the Ted and modeled after older, iconic stadiums. “You have got to see Marlins Park,” said no one ever.

Our whole city suffers from this fallacy of tearing stuff down to build new stuff, like, I don’t know, historical churches. You know what is more fiscally sound and way better for the environment? Not throwing away perfectly good stuff.

What’s next? Demolishing the Margaret Mitchell house to build Tara? For once, Atlanta, can we keep something sacred?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2013 12:47 pm

    I hate this move as a transit and cities advocate for all the obvious reasons, but also as an opponent of publicly funded sports stadiums. Basically, sports teams threaten leaving a city to scare them into subsidizing a new stadium. Over the last few decades, teams have found they can sucker municipalities into building them a new multimillion or even billion dollar stadium every 20 years. If the city doesn’t pony up, they either leave the market or, as in this case, move to another municipality within the market. It shows what a bad deal these stadiums are for taxpayers. I’m not sure what Turner Field cost the taxpayers of Atlanta, but I’m sure it wasn’t a cheap date. Now that field is going to be demolished? What a horrible waste and a nasty move by the braves.

    Also on the urbanist side, it’s really hilarious that the team sites downtown Atlanta’s traffic as a reason for moving. Because traffic in a place only acceptable by car will be any better on game days? Unreal.

    • November 13, 2013 12:49 pm

      Accessible. Not acceptable. Although that kind of works, too.

    • November 13, 2013 5:15 pm

      Also on the urbanist side, it’s really hilarious that the team sites downtown Atlanta’s traffic as a reason for moving. Because traffic in a place only acceptable by car will be any better on game days?

      Well, yeah. Having the stadium at the Cobb location has a better chance of improving flow in and out of the stadium that in the current location. Even if a MARTA stop was built for Turner Field most of the traffic would come from cars. The vast majority of ticket holders live in North Atlanta and they’re not going to jump on the train.

      I agree that subsidizing sports facilities is a bad idea. From a purely business standpoint the Braves are making the right decision. The City of Atlanta has had 50 years to improve the area around Atlanta Fulton County Stadium and now Turner Field and not thing has happened. There’s nothing the Braves can do to improve the area around the park.

      Turner Field didn’t cost the taxpayers. The money was raised by the Atlanta Olympic committee.

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