Home » Baseball returning to the Atlanta site where Hank Aaron hit his 7

Baseball returning to the Atlanta site where Hank Aaron hit his 7

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ATLANTA (AP) — Baseball is returning to the site where the Braves first played in Atlanta and Hank Aaron hit his record 715th home run.

Georgia State has finalized plans for a new 1,000-seat baseball stadium in a parking lot that includes the footprint of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

That venue helped lure the Braves from Milwaukee in 1966 and is best known as the ballpark where Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record on April 8, 1974. The mark has since been eclipsed by Barry Bonds.

Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium served as home of the Braves through the 1996 season, when it was replaced by a new facility just a few hundred yards away that was built initially as the main venue for the Centennial Olympics.

The old stadium was imploded and replaced by a parking lot for the new venue, which was converted into Turner Field. The Braves played at “The Ted” until their move to suburban Truist Park in 2017.

Turner Field was then sold to Georgia State, which converted it into a college football facility known as Center Parc Credit Union Stadium. Now, with development in full swing in what was once a swath of parking lots, the state Board of Regents approved plans for a $15.85 million ballpark that will allow the Panthers to move their baseball program from a facility about 12 miles away to a spot less than a mile from their downtown campus.

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As part of the project, the Hank Aaron statue currently located in the plaza of Center Parc Stadium will be moved to the new ballpark. There already is a modest exhibit honoring the spot where his 715th homer cleared the left field wall.

After Aaron died in 2021, his funeral procession made a detour through the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium site.

“There is a lot of work ahead, but this is an exciting day for Georgia State,” athletic director Charlie Cobb said in a statement.

The new stadium is set to open in time for the 2026 college baseball season. The Panthers also plan to construct a new facility for their softball program, adding to an athletics complex that already includes the football stadium and a basketball arena that opened in 2022.

AP college sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports

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