For those awaiting Atlanta’s new Braves stadium, it’s overdue and for those opposed to it, it’s too soon. For all concerned, the first construction phase of the stadium is finally set for July 15, 2014. That’s when preliminary site clearing begins and, by September, grading should be in full operation. The legions of local contractors in Atlanta construction who will build the actual structure should begin arriving in February of 2015.
According to Cobb County officials, the date for certified completion of the project is January 25, 2017, a mere nine weeks before the annual opening of baseball season. If the schedule holds, a soft opening will give fans a preview of the new stadium on February 21, 2017. The grand opening with all appropriate festivities will follow on March 31, 2017. The design specs set forth by the county include features that offer both fans and the team a unique Braves experience unlike any other stadium in the National League.
The Braves’ plans to vacate Turner Field on schedule are firm, leaving little margin for delay in the tight completion schedule for the new stadium. While the Braves have the option of renewing the lease at Turner Field, their contract specifies that the team must renew for five-year terms, nothing less. Meanwhile, interest is growing among developers over alternate uses for the property where Turner Field now stands. Proposals for a housing development as well as the expansion of Georgia State University have been mentioned in the media. While anything more than speculation is premature, the only part of Turner Field that will definitely be preserved is the monument honoring Hank Aaron’s 715th home run.
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