FanPost

Atlanta Braves make the kind of stadium deal the As have been looking for

The Atlanta Braves abandon their downtown home in favor of a new stadium which is closer to its geographical fanbase center or something. Something something, It doesn't really matter since it's just a cover story. Read up:

Braves move to new suburban park.

The team is moving away from downtown, and lists better access to its fanbase and better access for fans (i.e transit) at the new location.

The hitch? That's not really the case at all. They really moved to get a new stadium, and more importantly a new stadium complex. That is, they will control a retail area around the new stadium so they can cash in on the crowds that show up even before they enter the park. And maybe some juicy naming rights. And of course a wad of city cash donated to the new stadium fund.

And contrary to the statement of easy access, the transit to the new location is inferior with the public transit inferior to the existing location and local traffic is knotted at rush hour due to cars passing through from downtown to the suburbs and vice-versa.

All in all it sure sounds like Atlanta's deal is very similar to the As attempt to move to Fremont years ago. That was very much a property developer's move and a move away from strong public transit links.

It will be interesting to see how a move to the suburbs works in contrast to every other team moving near a city center. And to see if controlling a retail space makes a difference for the team. Maybe it'll be a little glimpse of what might have been if Lew's first attempt to move the Athletics out of Oakland had been successful.

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