One year ago today, our local baseball team crashed the Veterans Day news cycle with the announcement that it was fleeing downtown for new digs in the northwestern ‘burbs. Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days later, as public debate and legal battle over SunTrust Park plods on, construction of the future home of the Cobb County Braves is rolling right along.
Today, the team released a time-lapse video of construction on the stadium/mixed-use development near Cumberland—compressing twelve months of slow fan torture into one rip-the-bandage-off minute. But the ball club tries to put the pain in perspective in an accompanying release:
Change, though, is a scary thing. The Braves have spent their entire 49-year history in the city of Atlanta just south of downtown, creating memories in the hearts and minds of Braves Country from two little plots of land. It’s where Hank hammered. It’s where Sid slid. And it’s where the team of the ’90s had its world championship.
While frightening, change is also inevitable, and not intrinsically negative. Without it, Atlanta wouldn’t have a baseball franchise to begin with, as the Braves would still be splitting a fan base in Boston where the club’s storied history began.
We know we feel better now.
Reaction to the video will depend on where the viewer stands on the issue: Supporters will see progress; concerned Cobb citizens will see ill-gotten tax dollars buried in the clay; crestfallen, in-city baseball fans may just see a razed patch of wilderness that might as well be in Dahlonega.
The Braves and the Cobb County Commission just see dollar signs.