Atlanta, GA----The Atlanta Braves came out with a rather big and somewhat surprising announcement Mondday.
The team's going to build a new stadium, moving out of the downtown area and up to Cobb County, some ten miles north of downtown.
The Braves saying they expect to be able to move into the new facility by 2017, so three more seasons playing at Turner Field which was built as part of the Olympic effort, so they've been playing there since the '97 season.
Expect the new $672 million dollar stadium to a bit smaller than Turner Field, at least that's the indication from Braves President John Schuerholtz.
"Well, we did fill the seats during years gone by. We had three million, three-and-a-half million people coming in. We built this stadium this size for that reason. We know that when we go to our new facility, as beautiful as it will be, and it will be sized appropriately, we believe. We're not exactly certain what that will be, that there will be a great demand for our tickets and that place will be full and vibrant every night. Every night during the season and 365 days a year."
Mayor Kasim Reed says there was no way the Atlanta Braves were going to stay in downtown without city taxpayers spending hundreds of millions of dollars.
Reed said in a statement Monday that the city was unwilling to match an offer put together by nearby Cobb County given the needs facing Atlanta.
Reed says he has already spoken with a number of unspecified groups about redeveloping the downtown stadium and surrounding area. Earlier this year, Reed faced criticism over a plan to use public financing to help support a new NFL stadium downtown. That plan is moving forward.