GSU stadium police shut down tent city - CBS46 News

GSU stadium police shut down tent city

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

What once was Turner Field will be transformed into Georgia State University’s new football stadium by August 31. That’s less than a year since the last home game of the Atlanta Braves.

Not everyone is excited about the rapid progress. On Friday, the chief of Georgia State University police ordered a group of protesters out.

The protesters lived in a tent city. Some camped out on and off for two months. Their main concern as Georgia State prepares to open their new stadium and new development begins around it -- they will be pushed out.  

“Property values and property taxes go up. What are we going to do?,” questioned Alison Johnson, who was born and raised in the neighborhood.

“I don’t think that people in the general population really understand that this next development that is coming here is going to impact these people for the rest of their lives…this development is not going to be for us,” Johnson added.

“Our first game in the stadium is going to be 7 p.m. on August 31…and we're ready to go,” shared Bharath Parthasarathy, who is deputy general counsel for GSU.

The old Turner Field property will also house GSU's baseball field. Chopper 46 flew over the stadium Friday to capture the construction and many new seats were visible.

A major development will also be built around the GSU property, including student housing, stores, restaurants and office space. 

“They stormed Tent City early this morning [at] like 6:45 a.m., some people were still asleep…it was ridiculous,” said Sherise Brown, who also lives near the stadium but called Tent City her temporary home until GSU police cleared it out, she says, with no warning.

“Gentrification is moving swiftly. All we want is to be at the table and not be the meal,” Brown argued.

“My grounds people can’t get in here and clean up. It’s becoming unsanitary. I decided it is time for them to go ahead and take it down,” Chief Joe Spillane of GSU Police explained about removing the tents and protesters .

The new stadium is an important acquisition for GSU, a school with a campus hidden among the buildings of downtown Atlanta. It’s soon to have a highly visible and historic place to call “home field.”

“The Georgia Dome was a great home for Georgia State football and we couldn't have been prouder with that association, but to have our own home field and be able to put our mark on it is going to be a pretty spectacular day on opening day,” Parthasarathy shared.

GSU told CBS46 they have worked with neighborhood associations from day one, and will continue to do so.

GSU will play their first home game against East Tennessee State. 

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