Turner Field


Turner Field

Infobox_Baseball_Stadium
stadium_name = Turner Field
nickname = "The Ted"


location = 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315
opened = July 19, 1996
closed =
demolished =
owner = Atlanta Braves (Liberty Media)
operator =
surface = Grass
construction_cost = $209 Million cite news |title=At Close of Games, Braves Will Move Into Olympic Stadium |last=Sandomir |first=Richard |date=1996-07-30 |accessdate=2008-07-24 |work=The New York Times |publisher=The New York Times Company |url=http://www.nytimes.com/specials/olympics/0730/oly-stadium-braves.html]
architect = Heery International; Rosser International; Williams-Russell and Johnson; Ellerbe Becket
former_names = Centennial Olympic Stadium (1996)
tenants = Atlanta Braves (MLB) (1997-present)
seating_capacity = 49,831 (1997 Baseball)
50,091 (2003 Baseball)
50,096 (2008 Baseball) [cite web |url=http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/ballpark/index.jsp |title=Welcome to Turner Field |date=2008 |accessdate=2008-07-24 |publisher= MLB Advanced Media, L.P]
dimensions = Left Field - 335 ft (102 m)
Left-Center - 380 ft (116 m)
Center Field - 401 ft (122 m)
Right-Center - 390 ft (119 m)
Right Field - 330 ft (100.5 m)
Backstop - 43 ft (13 m)

Turner Field is a ballpark in Atlanta, Georgia, home to Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves since 1997. Originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium, it was completed in 1996 to serve as the centerpiece of the 1996 Summer Olympics. After the games, the stadium was converted into a baseball park to serve as the new home of the Braves.

History

The ballpark 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 the stadium was removed in order to convert it to its permanent use as a 49,000-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.

After the 1996 Olympics were complete the stadium was officially given as a gift to the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. (the Atlanta Braves.) Ted Turner, then owner of the Braves, agreed to pay a large sum of the cost to build Centennial Olympic Stadium (approximately $170 million of the $209 million bill), if in turn, the stadium was built in a way that it could be converted to a new baseball stadium and that the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) paid for the conversion. This was considered a good agreement for both the Olympic Committee and the Braves, because there would be no use for a permanent 85,000 seat track and field stadium in Downtown Atlanta (as the 71,000 seat Georgia Dome was completed 4 years earlier by the state of Georgia) and the Braves had already been exploring opportunities for a new stadium. [cite web |title=Turner Field |first=Scott |last=Kendrick |work=About.com |publisher=The New York Times Company |url=http://baseball.about.com/od/photogalleries/ig/MLB-Stadiums-Gallery/Turner-Field.htm |accessdate=2008-07-24] 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.

College baseball

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.

Renovations

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.cite web |title=Turner Field Stadium |url=http://www.mlb-teams.com/stadiums/bravesStadium.php |publisher=MLB Baseball Teams.com |accessdate=2008-07-24] Since then, other stadiums including Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, and a horse track in Tokyo have installed larger boards. The current world record is the high-definition video board at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. A 1,080 foot (329 meter) long LED display was also added to the upper deck for primarily displaying advertisements. Next to this display is a 100-foot tall replica of Hank Aaron 715th home run ball.

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. [ cite web |url=http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/boxscore;_ylt=AhJYYQ_BIQNIZPO5JefioiYRvLYF?gid=270721115 |title=Atlanta 14, St. Louis 6 |publisher=Yahoo! Sports |accessdate=2008-07-24] 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. [cite web |title=2003 NL Division Series |url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/2003_NLDS2.shtml |accessdate=2008-07-24 |publisher=Baseball-Reference.com]

The longest game in Turner Field history was played on July 6, 2008 between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. The game lasted 5 hours and 35 minutes. The Braves won the game 7-6 in 17 innings. [cite web
title=Braves edge Astros in 17th in longest game in Turner Field history
url=http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280706115
accessdate=2008-08-02
publisher=ESPN.com
]

References

External links

* [http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/atl/ballpark/index.jsp Turner Field page at Atlanta Braves Website]
* [http://www.andrewclem.com/Baseball/TurnerField.html Interactive diagram at Clem's Baseball site showing both Olympic and Braves configurations]
* [http://www.googleearthhacks.com/dlfile82/Turner-Field---Atlanta-Braves-Baseball-Stadium.htm 3D model plug-in] for [http://earth.google.com Google Earth]
* [http://www.damonledet.com/photos/turnerfield-atlantabraves/ Turner Field Photos]


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