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Braves leaving Turner Field, building new stadium in Cobb Co.

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ATLANTA -

The Atlanta Braves will soon say goodbye to Turner Field.  The team announced Monday morning that they plan to build a brand new facility in Cobb County, where they hope to open the 2017 season. 

The Marietta Daily Journal first reported the Braves plans announce the move on Monday.  The Braves officially confirmed the move Monday morning when they launched HomeoftheBraves.com.  The website gives extensive details on the team's plans to build a stadium at the intersection of Interstates 75 and 285 in Cobb County.  The site will be a combination of the new ballpark and mixed-use development and parking areas.

Aerial images from above the site detail the location of the planned venue.  The total cost of the new stadium, along with parking and related infrastructure, is roughly $672 million.  The Braves say they will be a significant investor, along with Cobb County, in the project.

The Braves' 20-year agreement at Turner Field expires at the end of the 2016 season.  The team says construction is set to begin in the second half of 2014.  During construction, they say more than 5,227 jobs will be supported with a total payroll of more than $235 million.

The team says they "have begun the process to build a new stadium with hopes that the Braves will open the doors to a new world-class ballpark by Opening Day 2017, and we will begin the latest chapter in our history."  The team has called the city of Atlanta home for nearly 50 years.  The new facility will feature entertainment options, green space and "a place to go 365 days a year." 

The team went into further detail about their plans during a press conference at Turner Field on Monday morning.  They say they have mixed feelings about leaving the downtown Atlanta area, but are excited about their new facility being surrounded by an entertainment district-- something they didn't get downtown.  Officials also said there will be better access to mass transit and parking, which will help them create a destination. 

Team officials say they met with Mayor Kasim Reed last Thursday to deliver the news of their decision, and they added that Reed was "not pleased."

The new stadium will not be known as Turner Field, and team officials confirmed they'll be searching for a new naming rights partner. 

The stadium will be owned by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which now owns the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.  The Braves will handle the day-to-day oversight of the stadium.  

Why are the Braves leaving the place fans lovingly know as "The Ted?"  Their lease expires in 2016, and the team says on the new website that they needed to find a long-term solution to keep the Braves in metro Atlanta for the long haul.  The team says Turner Field needs $150 million in infrastructure work to do things like replacing seats, repairing and upgrading lighting-- but none of which would significantly enhance the experience for fans.  

The new site, the team says, will provide enhanced connectivity, increased access to major roads and more parking.

"Our vision for the future is grand," said Braves president John Schuerholz in a video posted on the new website.  "The new stadium site will be one of the most magnificent in all of baseball."

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