Turner Field is a baseball stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, host to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves.
The stadium was built across the street from the former home of the Braves, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was demolished in the summer of 1997. From 2002 to 2004, the failed Fanplex entertainment center was located adjacent to the park's parking lot. The stadium contains 59 luxury suites and three party suites.
The most popular name choice among Atlanta residents for the new stadium at the time of its construction (according to a poll in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) was Hank Aaron Stadium. After the ballpark was instead named after Ted Turner, the city of Atlanta renamed the section of Capitol Avenue on which the stadium sits Hank Aaron Drive, giving Turner Field the street number 755, after Aaron's home run total.
1996 Summer Olympics
The stadium was originally constructed as the 85,000-seat Centennial Olympic Stadium and used for the Centennial 1996 Summer Olympics. Immediately after the 1996 Summer Paralympics, which followed the Olympics, much of the north end of stadium was removed in order to convert it to its permanent use as a 45,000-seat baseball park. The stadium has hosted the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball since 1997, following a multimillion-dollar renovation to retrofit the stadium for baseball by removing the temporary stands that had made up nearly half the stadium and building the outfield stands and other attractions behind them. It was the site of the 2000 MLB All-Star Game.
Turner Field, also known as "The Ted", was named after the then owner, Ted Turner. The stadium was a $200USD million "gift" from the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG), paid for by revenue from the Olympics. Some questioned the huge gift to the Braves, as well as the wisdom of demolishing nearly half of the stadium, making it useless for other world-class track and field and other large events.
Because of the need to fit a track within the stadium in its earlier incarnation, the field of play, particularly foul territory, while not large by historical standards, is still larger than most new MLB stadiums.
Since 2003, the NCAA Division I college baseball teams of Georgia Tech and Georgia, which had previously played two games on each school's campus, replaced one of the home and home pairs in favor of a third game at Turner Field. This rivalry game at Turner Field is one of the most attended games in college baseball, with the 2004 game drawing 28,836—larger than the College World Series games. There is some speculation in college baseball that the Southeastern Conference is considering conducting their baseball tournament at Turner Field to reflect the large crowds.
Significant renovations to the stadium were put into place for the 2005 season. Among the improvements was installation of a $10 million video display, which was at the time listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest high definition video board. Since then, other stadiums including Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, and a horse track in Toyko have installed larger boards. A 1080 foot (329 meter) long LED display was also added to the upper deck for displaying primarily advertisements.
Major league baseball
The highest recorded attendance for a Braves regular season game in Atlanta is 53,953 and was set at Turner Field on July 21, 2007, against the St. Louis Cardinals. The highest recorded attendance for a Braves playoff game (and overall) in Atlanta is 54,357 and was set at Turner Field on October 5, 2003, against the Chicago Cubs.
- Aerial Views of Turner Field, StadiumFind.com
- Interactive diagram at Clem's Baseball site showing both Olympic and Braves configurations
- 3D model plug-in for Google Earth