Sketches and renderings were released yesterday that gave fans a good idea of how the layout will look for the new Braves’ stadium and entertainment district. It’s a lofty vision, that if pulled off as intended, could be an experience to not only rival, but far exceed the overall experience of any other ballpark. I have some concerns about that vision which I’ll share in a minute or so, but for now let’s just look at the details.
The cost of the stadium itself will run at a mere $672 million, with a planned entertainment district built almost as an entry corridor to the stadium itself, at a cost of an extra $400 million, totaling just over a billion. The Atlanta Braves will pay for both, but will be seeking a development partner to help offset the overall cost. The video below, brought to you by WSBTV Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta, gives a good overview of what you can expect when you begin attending games in the new stadium in 2017.
(Click on the image to enlarge)
The plan is to build an entertainment corridor, almost like an entertainment hallway of sorts that leads to the stadium. It would consist of restaurants, bars, and retail establishments at first, and then perhaps expand to living spaces as well, with the plan to build vertically instead of horizontally due to the limitations of acreage.
The idea is pretty cool. If you want to do a bit of bar hopping, eat a fine meal, do some shopping, etc, you won’t have to get in your vehicle and leave the stadium area to do that!
But wait, do you have to do that now? No, not really. When you got to the TED today, you get all the shopping you want, good food, lots of beer and mixed drinks, etc., all right there inside the TED! So my concerns about this entertainment district is whether or not Braves’ fans will really care that much about it, or use it. Does this mean that there won’t be much in the way of shopping, food, drinks, etc., inside the stadium? You see my concern, right?
I don’t know how it all pans out, but personally I’m not impressed with a stadium where I cannot get all I need INSIDE that same stadium. I’m fairly certain there will be a mix, with establishments inside and outside the actual stadium, to meet the wants of every fan, but I’m not personally sold on this idea of an entertainment district. Maybe I’m just an old fogey that goes to games to watch games, and do little else. Oh well, we shall see.
Keep in mind that all these renderings are just that, renderings, and while things could certainly change between now and construction, we get a pretty good idea from the rendering what the new stadium will be like.
I’ve heard some make comments that they love the fact that the majority of the seating is on the infield and down the 1st and 3rd base lines, with little seating in the outfield. I understand why some would prefer that. Some don’t want to go to games unless they are close to the action, with a birds-eye or better view of the infield. There are, however, other fans who like the outfield experience – that blue-collar kind of baseball bum kind of feel.
There appears to be huge panels on the infield to help with shading, which seems to indicate no plans for a retractable roof. This bugs me a little, because with the spring and summer rains that Atlanta gets, as well as the flaming dog-days of summer, I’ve always hoped Atlanta could somehow get a retractable roof. No, I don’t want a dome either, but a simple roof, though expensive, would mean a great deal for fan comfort. The Braves have to prioritize though, and certainly there’s still time for initial plans to change. We shall see.
You can never do anything that’s going to make everyone happy, and while there are things about the proposed plan that I don’t much care for, I fully support this move in every way, don’t see really any downside at this point, and personally cannot wait until 2017.
The entertainment district means little to me. I like to eat, and can drink with the best of you, but I don’t much like the idea of “entertainment” districts. I prefer a good dog and a beer inside the park, where I know I won’t miss a minute of the action. All fans are different though, with varying ages, varying levels of fandom, and varying needs when they go to a game. I think the majority will love the experience though, so kudos to artists, designers, architects, and planners.
We’ve heard of some who are miffed that Atlanta is moving to a new home, miffed about transportation issues, taxes, etc., but it seems to me those rumblings come from a small sample (See our morning Chop this morning for some numbers) of the overall population. We still have several years before we see the plans take shape and become reality, but so far, minus a few objections, I like what I see. What’s your take?