Chronological Tour: Stop 118

The Ted

Entrance to Turner Field, the former Olympic Stadium, Aug-1997.

The seating bowl is in line with other parks built during the 1990s. This photo and the next are from Jul-2003.

The outfield is lined with fan attractions.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
In 1996, the Games of the XXVI Olympiad visited Atlanta, who managed to outbid Athens (Greece, not Georgia) for the 100th anniversary Games. A new stadium was built just south of the existing Fulton Co. Stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies and events in athletics (track and field). Following the Games, Centennial Olympic Stadium was partially dismantled and rechristened Turner Field, for owner Ted Turner. The Braves began play here in Apr-1997.

The most notable, and distracting, feature of Turner Field, aka “The Ted”, is the “fan fun zone” in the outfield. Sure, an exploding Coke bottle for a home run is OK (Coca-Cola is the largest employer in Atlanta outside of the state government), but there is no real reason for a full arcade to dominate the landscape out there.

On the other hand, sightlines are reasonable at the park, and it’s a fairly pleasant place to watch a game, the tomahawk chop notwithstanding. It is a baseball-only park, with the NFL Falcons having moved to the Georgia Dome several years before Turner Field was completed.

I returned to the park in July 2003 and found it a lot more palatable than I had on my initial visit. For some reason, though, it took me nearly seven years to revisit my photos and upgrade the park’s rating. The Ted deserved better.

Alas, the lifespan of Turner Field appears to be running out at a mere two decades. The Braves have announced plans to relocate to a new park to the northwest, in an unincorporated area of Cobb County known as Cumberland (on the outskirts of Marietta), for the 2017 season. That would put the Braves in their third ballpark in just 52 years since relocating from Milwaukee. Turner Field is to be downsized so it can be used as the home field for Georgia State football.

With traffic in Atlanta becoming unbearable in the best of circumstances, the team resorted to selling $1 general admission tickets for most games; still fans did not flock to the park as the team languished near the bottom of the standings. The interchange where the new park is being built is notorious for congestion, and it remains to be seen how the Braves will fare in their new home.

Game # Date League Level Result
273 Wed 13-Aug-1997 National MLB Pittsburgh 2, ATLANTA 1
599 Sun 20-Jul-2003 National MLB ATLANTA 11, NY Mets 8
1213 Mon 13-Aug-2012 National MLB San Diego 4, ATLANTA 1
1507 Thu 1-Sep-2016 National MLB ATLANTA 9, San Diego 6
Return to the Stadiums page
Return to Charlie’s home page

Site and images Copyright © 1997, 2003 Charles O’Reilly. All rights reserved.
This page updated 1-Sep-2016