Georgia State University to buy Turner Field, turn it into a football stadium

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Georgia State University is going to purchase the Braves former home, Turner Field and will convert it into a football stadium for its Sun Belt Conference team. They’ve been playing in the Georgia Dome for the past several seasons. A renovated Turner Field will be much smaller, of course, and likely more appropriate for a smaller university football team.

The price: $22.8 million. It cost $209 million to build the stadium for the 1996 Olympics and more to convert it into a baseball stadium. A few years ago the Braves claimed that it would require $150 million in improvements just to keep the stadium structurally sound. Whether that was the truth or merely p.r. to spin their unexpected decision to build a new stadium in the Atlanta suburbs is unclear, as is how much Georgia State will have to pay for the renovations and any needed repairs.

The land surrounding the stadium is slated to be part of a $300 million development effort, led by the university’s development arm, which will include private housing, retail space and corporate facilities. The Braves thought for years that, once the stadium was built, surrounding development would follow. It never really did. Maybe the university’s efforts to actually undertake said development will have better results.