Baseball Stadium To Be Replaced By…Another Football Stadium?

May 7, 2014 16:06 pm

by Charlie · 23 comments

While this sounds transformational for Georgia State, I just can’t get over the fact that we’re still spending more money on sports-entertainment complexes when there are so many other priority infrastructure projects.  From Scott Trubey and Janel Davis of the AJC:

Georgia State University and a prominent Atlanta development team want to acquire Turner Field and the sea of parking lots between it and downtown to create a new southern campus for the college and a $300 million mixed-use development that would transform an area threatened by the Braves’ pending departure to Cobb County.

The university wants to convert The Ted into a new 30,000-seat football stadium and build other athletic facilities, student housing, classrooms and green space. A private team led by real estate development powerhouse Carter and Columbia Residential would build a mixed-use campus of shops, restaurants, retail, hotels and single-family and apartment homes on a majority of the surrounding area.

I’m going to have to choose to think of this as GSU finally achieving a true campus setting, and downplay the football stadium as the centerpiece.  Your mileage may vary.

Updated: The AJC’s Greg Bluestein has tweeted out a proposed site plan. (included below)

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Buzz Brockway May 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Have they run this by Ed yet?

Charlie May 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm

They’re in trouble if they haven’t.

Ed May 7, 2014 at 4:41 pm

I signed off on the plan earlier today, Charlie beats me to the post by 10 minutes.

C’est la vie, man.

Buzz Brockway May 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm
Baker May 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm

At least they might not tear the thing down. (I’ll ignore my thoughts on every single college on earth needing a football team…how is UGA not enough for everyone?)

“I just can’t get over the fact that we’re still spending more money on sports-entertainment complexes when there are so many other priority infrastructure projects”

Kind of makes you want to rip your hair out…and if it doesn’t, you’re not paying attention, or you’re cool with massive corporate welfare. And I feel like the crazy old man in the yard shaking a fist because apparently so many people just shrug and think all this is no big deal. We’re talking about $BILLIONS in public money.

Ed May 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

“how is UGA not enough for everyone?”

Because…

You’ve had the rest–now try the best! (Georgia State)

MattMD May 9, 2014 at 12:48 am

I guess UGA is enough for anybody that likes watching lower-tier bowl games.

CJBear71 May 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Ironically, it takes the Braves leaving to get the kind of development that is sorely needed in the area. But I still wonder how the area will deal with 20,000 – 30,000 fans parking on game day (look at the AJC mock-up) and still no consistent MARTA to the area that would be needed for families and students living adjacent.

Three Jack May 7, 2014 at 5:16 pm

It’s GSU CJBear, they won’t draw 20,000-30,000 for the season.

greencracker May 7, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Parking for thousands* on game day? Do what Georgia Tech does and shut down all the streets & parking decks around for the alumni tailgate.

Oh, what, you say you live in a dorm there and you paid good money for your parking pass? Find somewhere else in midtown to put your car if you want to use it that day, kid.

*I have no idea how big Tech’s stadium is, if it is anything like 20k. And it is indeed convenient to MARTA, which must cut down on cars.

smvaughn May 8, 2014 at 5:27 pm

The plan is for the streetcar to run down Capitol Ave. then to Grant Park via Georgia Ave. That will be a ways away, but it’s the plan.

I had the same thought, but GT does fine with many more fans on game day than GSU has and it seems to manage fine. There’s also 4 parking garages in their early plan.

Also, there’s a MARTA station 3/4 of a mile away. Compare that to Bobby Dodd, which is 1/2 mile away from the North Ave. MARTA stop. Is a 1/4 mile difference really the line of demarcation between “consistent” and “non-consistent” MARTA access?

GSU already provides shuttles already from Turner Field parking (which is used by its commuting students) to its campus. I’m sure they’d do the same on game day.

Ellynn May 7, 2014 at 5:08 pm

“…how is UGA not enough for everyone?”

Because they are not my team, not my school, or even the best team with a “G” on the helmet.

G is for “PACKER” people!!!!

Ed May 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm

“G is for “PACKER””

Interesting alphabet y’all got.

Ellynn May 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm

There is no ” y’all ” in Packerland, doncha know…

AND we still have college radio between 5 am and 7 pm

http://wsum.org/

http://www.wmse.org/

Lea Thrace May 8, 2014 at 2:35 pm

“AND we still have college radio between 5 am and 7 pm”

ooooh. Burn. Poor Ed.

Larry Harkins May 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Pie-in-the-sky taxpayer-funded cluster [INSERT WORD OF CHOICE].

Doctor Strangelove May 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

I’m personally a big fan of the idea of retrofitting The Ted.

Don’t know what I mean? Take a look at this: http://www.coreredevelopment.com/apartments/stadium-lofts/

Baker May 7, 2014 at 10:54 pm

This one is in Osaka:
http://www.borsonline.hu/files/osaka.jpg

I’d live in Turner Field.

DrGonzo May 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Meh, who cares? GO OWLS! STILL UNDEFEATED! ;-)

linuxfanatic May 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Charlie, for crying out loud, I have to call you on this one.

1. This project is only happening because the Braves left Atlanta for Cobb.

2. Arthur Blank made it clear that had he not gotten a new stadium the Falcons – plus the MLS soccer team, the Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl, the SEC championship game, future Final Fours and NCAA regionals, future SEC and ACC basketball championship tourneys, future Super Bowls and World Cups, future major conventions etc – would have gone to Cobb County also .

3. This is not just a stadium! The stadium is actually the smallest part of the deal. Instead, this is a second Georgia State University campus, which will allow GSU to become the largest university in the state and one of the bigger universities in the country.

4. More not just a stadium: are we forgetting the PRIVATE part of the public-private deal? Housing! Businesses! The types of things that will keep Georgia State (and Georgia Tech) graduates in the city after commencement instead of fleeing for the suburbs (or to North Carolina, Florida, New York and Texas).

AND I will add that there never seems to be anywhere near the handwringing over similar projects in Cobb. Remember when funding the Beltline was a much bigger priority than keeping the Falcons downtown? It seems that no one thinks that Cobb County should prioritize a Northern Arc type project with Gwinnett over their stadium. And the terms! While the Falcons’ stadium terms were picked apart by watchdogs – including Peach Pundit – there doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as much interest in how the Braves’ stadium is going to be funded, or how the legislature passed a nice little sweetheart law to shield the contracting process from the usual sunshine laws, or over how Cobb is going to handle the traffic and public safety issues.

And oh yeah, Kennesaw State is building a stadium for their new FCS football team also. That is part of KSU’s expansions that cost over $100 million, nearly all of it public funds. Not that anyone cares. They only cared when KSU was allowed to absorb SPSU (who could have badly used that $100 million to become an actual research institution in STEM!) and even then only a little.

DrGonzo May 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

KSU already has a stadium ready for the football team and have for some five years or so, so no extra money being spent there. That $100 million is going to expansion of the Kennesaw campus and for renovation and expansion of the new ‘Marietta’ campus (formerly SPSU). Georgia State is jumping on this development because they know KSU – once it completes the SPSU takeover – will then be the 2nd largest school in the state, bypassing GSU and their concrete campus (and some of the projections I’ve heard from KSU insiders have the school bypassing UGA in student population within the next 10 years). They’re concerned about losing students who would rather be safe in the burbs at KSU than have to wander around the worst parts of downtown Atlanta to attend class. This new development at Turner Field will be great – for the criminals that populate the surrounding neighborhoods down there.

DrGonzo May 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm

“While the Falcons’ stadium terms were picked apart by watchdogs – including Peach Pundit – there doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as much interest in how the Braves’ stadium is going to be funded, or how the legislature passed a nice little sweetheart law to shield the contracting process from the usual sunshine laws, or over how Cobb is going to handle the traffic and public safety issues.”

Hang on now, there was plenty of interest among Cobb residents about how this new stadium deal was to be funded. It’s not our fault that Tim Lee kept everyone in the dark until the deal was basically done, then told all us concerned citizens to STFU while he rammed the deal through with token public commentary. At the very least, Arthur Blank gave Atlantans and others plenty of time to debate the issue. Tim Lee and the Braves organization gave Cobb residents zero time before he pulled the trigger and committed taxpayer funds.

MattMD May 8, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Interesting how GT expands across the connector with Tech Square and UGA buys the old Navy Supply School to expand it’s medical curriculum but State considers buying old stadiums.

Telling.