In the first three installments of this series on Turner Field, we provided insights from a Braves exec, a fan since the team moved to Atlanta and the team’s face of the franchise during its years at the ballpark. To wrap up this series, here is the article I wrote for USA TODAY Sports Weekly (which is why I conducted those three interviews). The piece appeared in their September 28, 2016 edition under the headline “Braves had Super Run at Stadium.” Many thanks to the editorial staff for allowing me to reproduce it for you here.
By the way, after the article was published, an astute reader contacted Sports Weekly and suggested that the Top Ten list was missing an important event: the unveiling of the All Century Team at the 1999 MLB All Star Game at Turner Field. I think he’s right.
ATLANTA When the Braves host the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, October 2, it will mark the end of an era. Turner Field, the scene of a tremendous amount of history in its short two decades, will see its final baseball game. That’s because in 2017, the Braves will move into SunTrust Park, currently under construction ten miles to the north in Cobb County.
As fans prepare to say goodbye to the ballpark, let’s examine how it came to be, what magical moments have occurred on its playing field, and what will become of it when the Braves are gone.
ANYTHING BUT HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
When Atlanta secured the rights to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, organizers realized there was no local venue capable of hosting the marquee track-and-field events plus the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Read More