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Atlanta Braves to develop new stadium complex, opening 2017

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The Atlanta Braves organisation will not extend its lease at Turner Field upon its expiration at the end of 2016. Instead it is working with Cobb County leaders to build a new world-class Major League Baseball stadium and integrated mixed-use development. The Braves has secured a large tract of property at the northwest intersection of I-75 and I-285 to this end. Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, said:

We believe the new stadium location is easy to access while also giving our fans a first-rate game day experience in and around the ballpark and making it a 365-day-a-year destination.

The stadium will occupy a portion of the site, with the balance being used for parking, mixed-use development and green space. The estimated cost of the stadium, parking and related infrastructure is roughly $672 million. The Braves will be a significant investor, along with Cobb County, in the project. During construction of the stadium, more than 5,227 jobs will be supported, with a total payroll of more than $235 million.

Construction on the new stadium is scheduled to start in the second half of 2014 and will be completed by Opening Day 2017. The Braves will develop the remaining parcels surrounding the stadium, crafting a world-class entertainment district featuring retail, restaurants and hotel options. Plans call for the stadium to be owned by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which also owns the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

The Braves’ lease at Turner Field, which is owned by the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority, ends at the conclusion of 2016. Since the facility opened in 1997, the Braves have invested nearly $125 million in Turner Field.

The Braves estimate that Turner Field currently needs $150 million in infrastructure work (including seat replacement, upgrades to the lighting, etc.), none of which would significantly enhance the fan experience. If the Braves were to pay for additional projects focused on improving the fan experience, the additional costs could exceed $200 million. Even with a significant capital investment in Turner Field, the Braves believe that there are several issues that cannot be overcome – lack of consistent mass transit to the facility, lack of adequate parking, lack of access to major roadways and lack of control over the development of the surrounding area.

New Atlanta stadium for 360 Architecture

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The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) Board of Governors has moved quickly to approve a contract with 360 Architecture as the lead architect on the new stadium project, signaling the official start of the design process. Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay said:

 

Selecting a lead architect is a very significant decision in the new stadium process. 360’s creativity and qualifications made them the best fit for this project, and we believe they will put us in the best position to deliver the ultimate game day experience for our fans, as well as serving at the highest level the needs of current Georgia Dome events and other new events in the future.

 

Bill Johnson of 360 Architecture said:

 

A progressive spirit of innovation exists here in Atlanta. Together, we have the opportunity to set the bar for dynamic, flexible, and sustainable stadiums by which all others will be measured.

 

On 17 April the GWCCA and the Atlanta Falcons jointly selected architectural firm 360 Architecture as its Apparent Awardee to provide lead design services. The estimated $1 billion stadium will be built with $200 million from public bonds, with the rest coming from Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

 

We collectively selected 360 Architecture, an exceptionally qualified firm. Their design approach as evidenced throughout the evaluation process, reflected their design goal to ‘Challenge Everything, Embrace Change and to Reject current thinking’ for stadium design

 

said GWCCA Executive Director Frank Poe.

 

The Request for Qualification (RFQ) process, which began late last year, vetted professional services based upon their qualifications and fit for the new stadium project. The contract for architectural services agreement identifies EEO participation and establishes $35 million as the gross maximum price for design. With a contract executed, 360 Architecture can now begin engaging the stadium owner and developer on specific programmatic elements and design preferences.

 

360 Architecture has shown two designs for the new Atlanta Stadium but said that nothing is certain yet.

360 Architecture has shown two designs for the new Atlanta Stadium but said that nothing is certain yet.