Georgia State baseball complex finally moves forward on stadium site

$16M facilities in works for a decade would rise where Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium stood

A decade after conversations began, Georgia State University is ready to move forward with building a baseball complex conveniently located in the shadow of downtown that honors Atlanta sports history.

The Georgia Board of Regents is expected to green-light a funding plan at their next meeting Tuesday for turning Center Parc Stadium’s Green Lot into a Panthers baseball complex that’s been percolating since 2014, as relays.

According to GSU’s proposal, the project will have a total budget of $15.85 million sourced from GSU Athletic Association gifts, in addition to GSU Foundation funds and gifts.

Plans call for a baseball stadium with 1,000 seats beneath a shade structure, plus roughly 3,000 square feet of facilities for concessions, restrooms, and a press box. Other aspects of the project would include field lighting and artificial turf.

The location, as the funding proposal notes, would be easily accessible via Panthers shuttle bus service for GSU students, faculty, and staff. (The Sun Belt Conference team currently plays home games 12 miles east of GSU’s campus in Panthersville, at a 500-seat venue with few amenities, portable bleachers, a small press box, and flooding issues, according to GSU officials. GSU’s softball team also plays in Panthersville, but at the Bob Heck Softball Complex—facilities considered “top-notch.”)

Construction of the baseball facilities would claim 400 surface parking spaces. The loss of that parking would be offset by GSU’s standalone new parking garage on Fulton Street, which is expected to open with 900 parking spaces this summer, according to school officials.

The baseball facilities would be located just north of Center Parc Stadium, where GSU football plays, and are consistent with GSU’s master plan, per the proposal.

Should the Georgia Board of Regents approve plans, GSU will move forward with design and construction in coming months. PT reports the project is expected to take 16 to 18 months to build, with a goal of opening for the 2026 baseball season.

All renderings considered current in 2023 show a softball complex operating adjacent to the baseball facilities, toward the downtown Connector freeway, but the proposal makes no mention of that.

The baseball complex would rise on the footprint of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, where Braves’ legend Hank Aaron smacked his record-breaking 715th home run 50 years ago. According to PT, GSU officials plan to honor Aaron with a new museum next to the baseball facility and have been consulting with the late slugger’s family.

The presence of GSU athletic facilities and its nearby campus has been a catalyst for Summerhill’s mixed-use transformation around Georgia Avenue since the Braves decamped to Cobb County. The diamond-shaped parking lot area where Aaron’s famed hit took place is located near hundreds of new apartments today.

For a deeper dive into the GSU project plans (that include softball) and how the facility could honor and showcase Aaron’s iconic home run, see our Q&A with the SLAM architecture design leads from last summer.

By Josh Green, Urbanize Atlanta


Full Article

Back Home