Turner Field Is No More?

Last week, I ran across a report in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and I received an e-mail from a reader on the same topic on the same day. The subject was that Turner Field – the stadium that the Braves are “evacuating” at the end of this season has been sold to Georgia State University. The selling price is supposedly $30M.

Turner Field used to be the Olympic Stadium that Atlanta constructed for the 1996 Games. It was a “neighborhood” before the city got hold of the property and built the Olympic Stadium; the idea now is for Turner Field to be demolished and for Georgia State to expand its campus into part of the land and for “mixed use development” to happen on the rest of the land. The Atlanta mayor clearly felt in a rhapsodic mood saying that the “asphalt eyesores” would go away and in their place would arise a walkable neighborhood “with shops and amenities”.

The report in the Atlanta Business Chronicle is completely upbeat as one might expect with news such as this. The e-mail from the reader sounds a small alarm bell here:

“That part of Atlanta could certainly use a bit of redevelopment, but I am not sure a ‘mixed use’ plan and extension of the GSU campus will fit with the adjacent high crime area. The Atlanta police keep a heavy presence here during Braves games, so this ‘legacy’ of the Olympics will be interesting to watch.”

And this …

“This project was motivated differently, but the result will be the same as other Atlanta redevelopment projects. Every somewhat neglected neighborhood has a few very dedicated residents who fight like hell to get the city to help with crime and abandoned or over crowded buildings. For the most part these are long time Atlantans with no political clout and less money. In comes a project a few streets over and the years of construction noise and dust make their lives miserable. Then, upwardly mobile young people move in (a black lawyer or doctor making $100K is no different than the white variety). Property values shoot up in the surrounding neighborhoods because of their proximity to the higher valued buildings. And taxes increase along with the new assessments. Many of those long time residents find themselves owing more in taxes than they can afford and the vultures glide in and scoop up investment property they have no plan to maintain, so the downward spiral continues until the next redevelopment plan.

“I saw it happen many times in my years growing up, and living as an adult, in Atlanta. Tomorrow has always been more important in my hometown than yesterday or today. There is no sense of community when a dollar is on the line.”

According to a report at NBCSports.com/pro football talk, the lawsuit filed against the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame regarding the cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game will be amended to assert that there was “deliberate deceit” on the part of the league and the Hall of Fame. The lawyer who filed the suit had this to say about the timeline of events:

“The league and the Hall of Fame informed the players, ninety players to the Packers and ninety players for the Colts, at least an hour and a half before they told the fans that the game was cancelled. Then to make matters worse they told those same individuals not to say anything about it, to tweet about it, et cetera. They clearly tried to cover this up and keep it from the fans in the interest of money.”

The plaintiff’s assertion here is that the fans were kept in the dark so that they would go to the stadium and buy food/merchandise/whatever that would not have been purchased had the fans known there would be no game. Other than to say all of these assertions are baseless, neither the NFL nor the Hall of Fame have had anything to say on this matter. However, if the court accepts these revised charges, it would seem to me that both of entities named as defendants will have to present evidence with regard to the decision processes and the timeline for the cancellation.

I have no dog in this fight; my feelings on the Hall of Fame Game have been rather explicit here. However, there is the potential for a delicious irony here:

    Imagine for a moment that the plaintiffs want to examine the phone records for Commissioner Goodell and the judge so orders. However, it turns out that the Commish turned in the phone he had on the day of the Hall of Fame Game for a new one about a week later. There is no phone for the plaintiffs or the court to examine. Too bad …

    Would that create an uproar, or what?

The Arizona Diamondbacks have not exactly torn up the National League this year. In fact, the only teams in MLB with a worse record are the Braves and the Twins. However, the D-Backs are at the forefront of culinary masterpieces at their ballpark. Consider these:

    The D-Bat Dog starts with an 18-inch corn dog. (Right there in the menu description, I am moving on to the next item but hang on because there is more.) That baby is stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon. Then it is served with a side of fries. And the cost is – wait for it – $25.00.

    For those fans who did not take out a second mortgage to buy stadium food before going to the game, the team also sells something called the Venom Dog. This is a footlong sausage spiced with habanero peppers that is topped with guacamole, black beans, pico de gallo and sour cream. This will set you back $10 – plus whatever cost you incur for antacids in the late innings.

Finally, here is a comment from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:

“Lionel Messi has dyed his hair blonde. That’s for the people who email to say I never include anything about soccer in my column. OK, next …”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………