ATLANTA — Turner Field had a signature moment right at the start — a trembling Muhammad Ali emerging from the shadows to ignite the flame that opened the 1996 Summer Olympics. In the years that followed, the Atlanta Braves hosted many memorable events of their own, from the World Series and All-Star game to the farewells of Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones.
Now, just 17 years after it opened, it looks as though the stadium affectionately known as “the Ted” is headed for extinction, like so many sports facilities in this city. In a stunning announcement, the Braves said they are moving in 2017 to a new 42,000-seat, $672 million stadium about 10 miles from downtown in suburban Cobb County, apparently swayed by a lucrative financial package that was just too good to pass up.
Mayor Kasim Reed said the city couldn’t match a $450 million offer from one of Atlanta’s sprawling northern suburbs, though it wasn’t immediately clear how the county of some 700,000 people plans to raise the money or whether it will require a vote of the taxpayers.