Nothing in this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about how the Braves want to emulate the Coors Field experience is inaccurate. Coors Field is, I am told, wonderful. The area around the ballpark, I am told, has become fantastic. It’s a true revitalization effort of a once-blighted neighborhood, the likes of which are always promised when a new ballpark goes up but which, in almost every case that is not Coors Field, either does not come to pass or does not come to pass without crushing and/or screwing over the taxpayers. And the Coors Field thing may very well have screwed over taxpayers, I’m not sure.
But it does seem strange to me for anyone to expect that kind of thing to happen where the Braves are building their new park. In the suburbs. Next to a mall. In an area that is not served by public transportation. And which is characterized, outside the area of the mall, but freeways and multi-line arterial roads. That’s not a recipe for something walkable and, like Coors Field, prone to development that will bring in residents and entertainment-seekers at times when there are no baseball games.
What it would be, at best, is an amusement park. One that, like Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyworld, might have sidewalks and shops and restaurants and stuff, but will be a simulacrum of an urban ballpark and neighborhood. One that still will require and rely on big parking lots and people heading there specifically for the ballgame, not one that is even arguably organic.