One of the cited reasons for the unprecedented decision to relocate the Atlanta Braves from their downtown home at Turner Field to a new suburban stadium location in Cobb County was that the downtown location offered too little parking for fans. After the new stadium deal was approved, however, it was revealed that the new location would offer even less parking than currently available at Turner Field. That, together with Cobb County’s continued resistance to public transportation service, undoubtedly would render the new stadium less accessible than Turner Field.
Now comes news that, when it opens in 2017, SunTrust Park will be even less accessible to fans than previously thought. That’s because funding sources and political support for a bridge connecting the stadium to fan parking has dried up, if they ever existed.
The bridge is an unquestionable necessity, because the new stadium site sits at the intersection of I-75 and I-285, and the latter, obviously an extremely busy interstate highway, separates SunTrust Park from this fan parking. Here’s an approximate view from a June 2015 Google Maps capture:
While the new stadium will open in April 2017, according to the latest report, the earliest the bridge would be ready is September 2017. Even that late date may be optimistic, though, as it is completely unclear from available information that any reliable sources of funding– or even a consistent cost estimate– exist. Until the bridge is complete, fans will be left to ford the above-depicted urban river by their wits alone. Maybe a bicycle would help?
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