Former city of Atlanta mayor, Bill Campbell, recently sat down with local station, WXIA 11 Alive, to talk about the history of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games and the Braves move to Cobb County, a move that he considers, “blasphemous.”
Campbell was in office as mayor from 1994-2002, helping be interactive in the move of the Atlanta Braves moving into the Olympic Stadium 1997 and turning it into what we know now as Turner Field. “The Braves were given this marvelous stadium that had this great history with the Olympic movement. I still believe it’s one of the great stadiums anywhere in baseball,” Campbell said.
But nearly two years later, after the Braves announce their move to Cobb County, it still stirs a lot of people’s kettles, and Campbell is one of them.
Campbell tells WXIA, “I think it’s blasphemous, quite honestly, the shocking amount of money that’s being paid by the people of Cobb County — many of whom somehow proclaim that they are fiscal conservatives — and yet they’re paying half a billion dollars for the Braves to move a few miles north, with the incredible traffic problems that will occur inevitably there. And without public transportation, it seems a waste.”
Turner Field is conveniently located downtown, and is easily accessible by several public transportation options, even within walking distance for those that are willing to do so, but the move to Cobb County presents very few options for those that utilizes public transportation.
The Braves contend that their move to Cobb County was prompted by a 20 year lease that comes to an end December 2016. Many argue that current mayor Kasim Reed did nothing to try and keep the Braves downtown at Turner Field, but did everything in his power to keep the Atlanta Falcons downtown.
While others argue that the new owners of the Atlanta Braves (Liberty Media, a Colorado based company) has no valuable concern of the Braves and the effects that this move will have on the local Atlanta economy.