Baseball’s Atlanta Braves surprised many last fall with the announcement of plans to pack up and leave Turner Field and build a new home a short drive away. With plans for a new football stadium for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons coming together as well, Georgia State is seeing the soon-to-be-vacant Turner Field as an opportunity. Hey, that’s a good idea.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia State has a proposal to convert the baseball stadium to a 30,000-seat football stadium. The plans call for renovating the baseball stadium for football as well as the construction of retail stores, residential and student housing at a cost of an estimated $300 million. Georgia State is not the only potential bidder for the baseball stadium though, as other proposals have already been submitted to the Atlanta mayor’s office.
Georgia State currently plays home games in the Georgia Dome, although to relatively sparse crowds and with a reduced seating capacity. Reducing the number of available seats in a newer and more updated stadium could change the entire atmosphere around in a hurry for the young football program as well. If the proposal is approved, nothing could happen for a few years anyway. The Braves still have to move into a new baseball stadium before any remodeling can be done by Georgia State. The Braves will not be moving until 2017.
If the plans are approved and Georgia State gets to call Turner Field home, Atlanta will eventually have three football stadiums including the new Falcons stadium and Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Modifying Turner Field is certainly not a unique idea of course. The stadium was originally constructed to serve as host of the 1996 Summer Olympics, with the intent to modify it for baseball once the games were complete. What’s one more remodel for a different sport at this point?