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Just a Thought on the Atlanta Braves

The Braves begin the 2014 season Monday afternoon in Milwaukee.

Courtesy Atlanta Braves Facebook page
Courtesy Atlanta Braves Facebook page

Just a thought on the Atlanta Braves – that’s what we’re asking of you here as the Major League Baseball franchise prepares to embark on another season on Monday.

What’s the first thought that pops into your mind when you think of the franchise that first began playing in downtown Atlanta in 1996?

When last seen, the Braves were producing yet another October flop as the team melted down in a playoff series loss at Los Angeles. The Braves have dropped seven straight playoff series, and the 2012 National League wild-card game, as it was way back in 2001 the last time the team won a playoff series. Do recent team failures come to mind with this ball club?

Of course, it was no normal offseason for the Braves, who about a month after the season ended, announced that would be bolting their downtown home for Cobb County in 2017.

Atlanta elected officials cried foul and many intown Braves fans were appalled that the team would turn its back on the city. Others said good riddance and raised hopes for what might come for the neighborhoods surrounding Turner field after the team leaves.

In Cobb, the reaction was equally mixed. Some residents have championed the team’s planned move to the Cumberland area, while others have protested vehemently the use of taxpayer money to help build a new stadium in Cobb.

People in other areas of the region could probably care less about the move in three years, just so long as the team is still around to be seen. And they will be as the boys of summer are back with Monday’s season opener at Milwaukee.

The Braves return to Turner Field next as the April 8 home opener against the New York Mets will be played 40 years to the day when Hank Aaron launched his historic 715th home run to eclipse Babe Ruth as baseball’s home run king.

Maybe that’s what you think of when the Braves come to mind – all the great players who have come through Atlanta; all the fantastic games. Maybe you're looking forward to attending a game this season - ticket prices and packages can be found at braves.com/tickets.

Maybe this is the year the Braves break through and win another World Series to go along with the club's 1995 title?

If you will, share your thoughts when you think of the Atlanta Braves.

Charlie Vosburgh March 31, 2014 at 01:49 PM
You think the traffic will be WORSE than having it in the heart of downtown where two major interstates become one? REALLY?? Ever try to drive through downtown after an afternoon game lets out at the heart of rush hour?? I have and in a word, it's GRIDLOCK! Plus now one has an option to go earlier to a game or stay later and go to one of the many fine restaurants and sports bars in the area to avoid the bulk of the traffic. One thing you could NOT do at the current location of Turner Field that had a grand total of ONE such establishment within walking distance. A great move all around!
Ben March 31, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Charlie, I can't say it will be worse but it certainly won't be better. The majority of commuters are from Cobb and Gwinnett counties and the I-285/I-75 exchange is one of the worst in the region for traffic. I'm not sure how you are coming to the conclusion that traffic will magically disappear once a stadium is built. I don't have a problem with the move but this idea that traffic will somehow be better in that location is misguided at best.
Brian March 31, 2014 at 03:30 PM
A different Brian opinion - I'm very disappointed with the move to Cobb on several levels. Conceptually sports teams tie a city or region together and on that basis belong in the city. I also believe a tremendous opportunity was lost when the Braves and Falcons didn't build both new facilities in the same location (even if it was out of the city). Having multiple sports venues in the same location spurs the investment in restys/bars/retail shops/hotels because you have more year round activity. Honestly the move to Cobb also has a taste of 'white flight' to it as well, which leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths. Speaking as someone from Tucker/eastern perimeter, this move will take my family out of contention for weeknight games outright. No way will we fight top-end perimeter rush hour traffic. We now have several alternatives to get to Turner Field, not so the new location. I must say it's been amusing watching Cobb County anti-government Republicans freely giving away $450M to a baseball team, quite amusing indeed.
Jackie Irish March 31, 2014 at 04:39 PM
Charlie Vosburgh raises a good point, as people are already seeming to gloss over the traffic challenges of getting to a game at the current stadium during rush hour on a weekday. The fact is, we don't know how traffic will be on gamedays at the new site (Will people learn to avoid that section of 285 during baseball season? Stick it out because there's no other option?). But what we can do over the course of the next 2 seasons is measure travel time from the areas the Braves' organization believes most of its fans come from (they released a heat map with the announcement) and compare the data to the 2017 season. My hypothesis is that travel-time for fans getting to the games will be about the same or at least, not significantly less; travel times for the poor souls just trying to get to/through the area after work, will be much, much worse. But I could be wrong. It will be interesting to see, regardless.
Pat Reynolds March 31, 2014 at 06:24 PM
Just remember that only the local politicians had a vote on this stadium expenditure. They broke their own laws by not allowing it on a ballot because they were afraid the public would vote it down. As for transportation to the new facility, there is only your auto whereas before you had MARTA. Add this to a team not playing so well and I see nothing but taxpayers' money going down the sewer without a vote.

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