Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
- What is the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority (“AFCRA”)?
AFCRA is an independent body, created by the State of Georgia in 1960. AFCRA has helped manage and/or maintain Turner Field, Philips Arena, Zoo Atlanta, the Olympic Cauldron and John A. White Park. AFCRA has also provided financial support for countless organizations, including Park Pride, the Atlanta Bike Coalition and The First Tee of Atlanta. Members of the AFCRA are appointed 2/3rds by the City and 1/3rd by the County.
- Why are the Braves leaving Turner Field?
The Braves have a lease with Turner Field that ends on December 31, 2016. They have opted not to renew that agreement, and are building a new ballpark in Cobb County.
- When are the Braves leaving Turner Field?
The Braves are expected to be completely moved out of Turner Field by December 31, 2016.
- Is the sale of Turner Field to Georgia State University a done deal?
No. If GSU is interested in purchasing Turner Field, it will have to submit a redevelopment proposal that will be evaluated, along with all other proposals that are properly submitted.
- Will a casino replace Turner Field?
At this time, there is no way of knowing what, if anything, will replace Turner Field. That decision will be made after formal proposals submitted and evaluated, and a bidder selected.
- How will the sale of Turner Field impact surrounding property values?
The ultimate developer of the Turner Field area will be expected to bring development to the area that will enhance and access and positively impact local property values, quality of life, and public safety.
- How much will Turner Field be sold for?
There is no set asking price for Turner Field and the surrounding area. However, financial offers will be a part of the consideration in determining a developer.
- What happens if there is no buyer for Turner Field?
If there is no buyer for Turner Field, the City of Atlanta will be responsible for 2/3 of the cost of maintaining and operating the facility, and Fulton County will be responsible for the remaining 1/3 cost of maintenance and operations of the stadium, unless other funds are identified, such amounts will come from the General Funds of the government.
- What is a RFP?
In this case, a RFP (Request for Proposals) is the process by which AFCRA will invite qualified developers to submit sealed proposals and bids to redevelop Turner Field, and the surrounding area, which is approximately a total of 87 acres.
- How will a buyer be determined?
The proposals submitted through the RFP process will be evaluated by representatives of CB Richard Ellis, the national consulting firm assisting AFCRA with the RFP process, along with an evaluation committee. They will work together to evaluate and ultimately recommend, a qualified purchaser to facilitate the redevelopment of the Turner Field area.
- Will Turner Field be sold to the highest bidder?
Not necessarily. Offering price is one of many factors that will be considered in determining a winning developer. The impact on the surrounding communities and how the project enhances the City and County as a whole, will also be considered.
- Are the County and City working together?
Yes. The Board of AFCRA is composed of representatives of both the City and County, including two members of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. AFCRA is also working with staff of both governments to ensure that each of their interests are respected and protected.
- What is a LCI?
The Livable Centers Initiative grant was applied for by the City of Atlanta on behalf of neighborhoods near Turner Field. The LCI study grant was awarded by the Atlanta Regional Commission to help the communities adjacent to Turner Field envision the future of the stadium and surrounding parking lots, develop a concept plan and rethink transportation infrastructure needs, all while enhancing and protecting existing neighborhoods. The Turner Field area represents nearly 6% of the area to be studied. The City of Atlanta and Invest Atlanta will partner with AFCRA, E. Casey Foundation, the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. and various neighborhood organizations to complete this study. Its findings are expected to be completed in the spring of 2016.
- Will the timing of the release of the RFP impact the recommendations from the LCI?
No. AFCRA is working with the City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development, to ensure that the Turner Field portion of the LCI is begun as soon as possible, and that the recommendations from the study, are available for consideration and implementation in future redevelopment of the area.
- Why can’t the release of the RFP and sell of Turner Field take place after the LCI is complete?
Soliciting and selecting a buyer for Turner Field is a months long process. It is important to start this process immediately, so that a potential buyer can be identified before the Braves exit Turner Field in just over a year. Even if things go according to schedule, it will be several months before a deal is completed.
- Will the community have any input towards deciding what comes to Turner Field area after the Braves leave?
Yes. Even after the RFP is issued, the community will continue to have formal and informal opportunities to share their concerns, and vision, for the Turner Field area.
- What is the cost to operate and maintain Turner Field?
It costs the Braves over $5M/year to operate Turner Field as a Major League baseball stadium. While some of these cost will go away, other cost associated with things such as staff, maintenance, security, and utilities will not disappear. The Braves have recommended that a transition team and/or buyer be in place at least by December of 2015, so that the Braves may assist in transitioning the facility to a new owner.
- What is the time frame for the sale of Turner Field?
If the RFP is issued before October 2015, a sell can likely be completed in 2016, before the Braves move to Cobb County.
- What is the SMP Fund and what happens to it when the Braves leave?
The SMP Community Fund, Inc., a shared initiative of AFCRA and Atlanta Braves, arising out of the Olympic Games of 1996. It was created to assist stadium neighborhoods in providing services and programs for its residents. The SMP Community Fund, Inc. is underwritten by the AFCRA and the Braves, and the funds may be used for community based educational, cultural, religious, and athletic events. Its funding will expire when the Braves leave in 2016.
- What is a TAD?
Tax allocation districts are one of the City of Atlanta's most valuable economic development tools. Also known as tax increment financing (TIF), tax allocation financing is a redevelopment and financing tool by which governments can provide financial assistance to eligible public and private redevelopment efforts within an officially designated area or TAD. Increases in property tax revenues, which are generated primarily from new investment in the district, are allocated to pay infrastructure costs or certain private development costs within the TAD. This is primarily done through the issuance of tax allocation district bonds. The Turner Field is in what is known as the Stadium TAD. Invest Atlanta serves as Redevelopment Agent for the Stadium TAD. Tax increment collected within the Stadium TAD can be used for eligible redevelopment projects within the Stadium TAD as authorized by a Redevelopment Plan.
- Does sale of Turner Field have anything to do with the flooding and relocation of residents in nearby neighborhoods?
No. The flooding in these neighborhoods was an issue long before the Braves announced their departure from Turner Field. AFCRA has not been involved in any decisions or negotiations related to the relocation of residents in the impacted neighborhoods.