City, neighborhood leaders react to Braves move - CBS46 News

City, neighborhood leaders react to Braves move

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Some city and neighborhood leaders said they did not know that the Atlanta Braves were moving out of Turner Field until they heard it from the media Monday morning.

The team has announced it will move to a location at I-75 and I-285 in Cobb County.

"To be honest, I was angry," said Councilwoman Carla Smith, who represents the Turner Field district. "Now I'm just full blown shock."

Mayor Kasim Reed posted the following statement on the city's website:

"The Atlanta Braves are one of the best baseball teams in America, and I wish them well. We have been working very hard with the Braves for a long time, and at the end of the day, there was simply no way the team was going to stay in downtown Atlanta without city taxpayers spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make that happen. It is my understanding that our neighbor, Cobb County, made a strong offer of $450M in public support to the Braves and we are simply unwilling to match that with taxpayer dollars. Given the needs facing our city and the impact of Turner Field stadium on surrounding neighborhoods, that was something I, and many others were unwilling to do. We have been planning for the possibility of this announcement and have already spoken to multiple organizations who are interested in redeveloping the entire Turner Field corridor. Over the next three years, we will be working with our prospective partners to bring residential and business development that is worthy of our city and strengthens our downtown. Those conversations will continue and I am excited about how we use the land that is now Turner Field, to be a tremendous asset for our residents, our city, and our region for years to come."

Smith and neighborhood leaders attended a news conference held by the team Monday morning.

"It's concerning that they may just leave us with tens of thousands of parking spaces and an empty stadium," said resident Feroza Syed.

Neighbors said they were working to revitalize the area around Turner Field.

"We're now going to be right back where we were since 1960 with an abandoned building in a neighborhood that could potentially be forgotten again," said Suzanne Mitchell, a neighborhood activist.

Reed has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

"For me, right now it's emotional," said Smith.

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