The year 2017 will be a great one for Atlanta’s sports teams. After 20 years of Turner field being the “Home of the Braves,” the Braves are building a new home in the Battery Atlanta, which is at the intersection of I-75 and I-285. Turner field has been a significant part of Atlanta’s history; it is a place where experiences turn into long lasting memories. the Georgia Dome has also contributed to the history of Atlanta’s sports, after 24 years of hosting major events, it is being replaced, although not destroyed.
When the Georgia Dome opened, it was the largest cable-supported domed stadium in the world. In addition to being the home stadium for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia State University, the Dome was the host of Super Bowl XXVIII and XXXIV, the gymnastics and basketball events for the 1996 Olympic Games, the NCAA Men’s Final Four two times (2002, 2007) and the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2003. Annually, the Dome hosts the SEC Football Championship, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game(s), the Bank of America Atlanta Football and the Georgia High School Football State Championships, as well as many other events.
The Braves have had many fields to call home over the course of one hundred and three years: South End Grounds, Braves Field, Milwaukee County Stadium, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field–and now Suntrust Park. At the start of the 2017 season, the Braves will be playing in their new ballpark, packed with 41,500 seats–twenty percent smaller than Turner Field–and will be designed to make every seat feel like the “best in the house.” Suntrust Park will have the Delta Sky360 Club, plus a completely reimagined Chop House. Overall the whole construction and operation of the field will provide nearly 9,100 jobs. “SunTrust Park will be the perfect marriage of classic ballpark feel, modern amenities and southern hospitality, creating a fan experience unlike any other.”
In 2017, the new home of the Falcons–Mercedes-Benz Stadium–will be complete and ready for use. The new stadium costs $1.4 billion to build, compared to the $214 million that it cost to build the Georgia Dome. The stadium can seat 75,000 for a future Super Bowl or FIFA World Cup, although it can also expand to 83,000 seats for other events such as the NCAA Final Four. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium is going to be spectacular, with a Falcon wing-like exterior that utilizes the latest in innovative and transparent building materials, providing a breathtaking view of the city. Also the stadium will include a retractable roof, a 360-degree HD video Halo board, an exterior fan plaza, a 100-yard bar, a technology lounge and more than 21,000 parking spaces. In addition to being located near three Marta stations, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium will incorporate the latest in sustainable advancements related to design, construction and operations, water conservation, renewable energy, energy usage reduction and alternative transportation. Clearly the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be noticeably better than the Georgia Dome.
Despite the amazing innovative new features each of these stadiums will house, they both have a few setbacks. One of the many reasons why Turner Field is loved has to do with the easy access. Being located in downtown Atlanta, there are two Marta stations close by, which provide a way for people to avoid the Atlanta traffic to get to the game. Suntrust Park is located in Cobb county, which as of right now is not very transit accessible. Hopefully by 2017 there will be more options for fans to be able to get to Suntrust Park. As for the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, some have complained that the new construction is not necessary because there is nothing wrong with the Georgia Dome. In the long run the costs are greater than the benefits. Despite the few grumblings around town, most people are looking forward to a new high-tech stadium.
The overall construction of Suntrust Park and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be an improvement to Atlanta, and will house many more events to make memories.