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Sports: The New Home of the Braves

Apr 09, 2014 03:48PM, Published by A Kitchen Drawer Writer , Categories: In Print, Community




Originally published in our March/April 2014 issue of Kitchen Drawer Magazine

By Taylor Gantt

By now, most of you faithful readers are probably aware that the Atlanta Braves will be "leaving" Atlanta and moving to a brand-new stadium in Cobb County, making it their permanent home by the start of the 2017 season. Perspectives differ radically among the fans in Braves Country, especially some particularly grumpy Cobb residents who don't want a stadium to further worsen their traffic woes. However, I'm here to tell you that this move will do wonders for the Braves as an organization and has the potential to propel the team to a place it hasn't been since the magical run of the '90s.

 

Many fans might be surprised to hear this, but the Braves organization does not actually own Turner Field. Since 1997 (when the stadium was built), the Braves have leased the building and thus received only a portion of the income created at the ballpark. This means that the organization's earning potential has been somewhat hampered due to their never having the financial or creative license to tailor Turner Field as they saw fit. To further complicate matters, reports indicate that Turner Field needs an estimated $150-200 million investment to remain in good working order for the years to come. Add the problems caused by Atlanta's notorious traffic, and the decision to leave downtown doesn't seem like such a strange choice after all. With the advent of the new stadium, one thing is assured when the Braves finally enter their new home: a dramatic spike in team revenue. A new ballpark will generate more interest in the team, especially when it first opens, leading to more ticket sales and purchases at the stadium. Even when the veneer of the new stadium wears off, the organization will still be seeing a greater return for their efforts. According to homeofthebraves.com, the official website of the new stadium, television and media deals were hard to negotiate with the uncertainty of the Turner Field lease looming over the discussions. With a permanent home secured, the Braves will be able to put down new roots, both geographically and in the business world. To top it all off, the organization will be planning events all throughout the offseason, making the new stadium a place to visit—and create revenue—all year long.

 The plans for the new stadium are already paying dividends for the on-field product. The new stadium was announced on November 13, 2013, and just a few months later, the Braves began aggressively signing their young talent to long-term deals. The organization appears to be projecting a significant influx of funds when the new ballpark goes live, allowing them to comfortably commit to their players in a substantial way:

 

Recent Atlanta Braves Contract Signings

 

Position

Player

Date of Contract Signing

Years/Amount

1B

Freddie Freeman

02/05/14

8 years, $135 million

SS

Andrelton Simmons

02/20/14

7 years, $58 million

CP

Craig Kimbrel

02/16/14

4 years, $42 million

SP

Julio Teherán

02/14/14

6 years, $32.4 million

OF

Jason Heyward

02/04/14

2 years, $13.3 million

 

In a league where you can spend what you earn, the Braves are looking to make themselves yearly contenders by locking down all of their homegrown talent. The new stadium will go a long way in making sure that Atlanta's best players never have to go elsewhere to get financial satisfaction. So whether you're on the fence about the new stadium or downright opposed to the organization abandoning its 20-year home, the obvious benefits and projected advantages that await the Braves in Cobb County should put all your fears and frustrations to rest.

 

Turner Field has served us well for many years, but now it's time to wave goodbye to "The Ted" and look forward to the brighter future for our Braves that's waiting just a few miles north on I-75.






in print march/april 2014 sports


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