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Turner Field to be demolished once Braves leave, Atlanta mayor says

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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Like a parent who converts a child's room into an office the week after their kid leaves for college, the City of Atlanta doesn't plan to spend too much time gazing upon Turner Field remembering what used to be.

Nope, in fact Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday, the city will demolish the stadium in 2017 after the Braves leave for their new home in the Cobb County suburbs. Don't let the bulldozer hit you on the way out, Braves players. From an Associated Press report:

Mayor Kasim Reed said at a news conference that the stadium will not be left vacant after the team starts playing at a new field in Cobb County in three years.

''We're going to have a master developer that is going to demolish the Ted and we're going to have one of the largest developments for middle-class people that the city has ever had,'' he said, referring to the stadium's nickname.

Giving a shout out to the middle-class while the Richie McRicherson baseball team collects a reported ~$450 million tax break from the folks in the 'burbs? Well played, Mr. Mayor. But you already won re-election last week.

Reed reiterated his message from Monday, in which he said Atlanta wasn't willing to pony up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to keep the Braves. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Reed said the Braves asked for between $150 million and $250 million for infrastructure improvements for the team to remain downtown. He said that would have left the city “absolutely cash-strapped” and unable to chip away at a nearly $1 billion infrastructure backlog.

“Atlanta is not that liberal with our spending,” said the mayor.

Nor is Atlanta apparently going to let an empty stadium sit around, eating up space like that old exercise bike in your garage. Or, for that matter, like the Houston Astrodome, which looks doomed for demolition as well after voters in Houston didn't support a $217 million plan to save the famous stadium last week. The Astrodome presents a good case for what could happen if you let a stadium linger around with no real purpose.

The difference, of course, is that the Astrodome has much more history than Turner Field, which will have been open only 20 years by the time the bulldozers come rumbling its way. That's barely enough time to build lasting memories — but at least we can all fondly remember the in-stadium Waffle House.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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