Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium

Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, often referred to as Fulton County Stadium and originally named Atlanta Stadium, was a multi-purpose stadium in the southeastern United States, located in Atlanta. It was built to attract a Major League Baseball team and in 1966 succeeded when the Milwaukee Braves relocated from Wisconsin.

The Braves and expansion Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League shared the venue for 26 years, until the Falcons moved into the newly completed Georgia Dome in 1992. The Braves continued to play at the stadium for another five years, then moved into Turner Field in 1997, the converted Centennial Olympic Stadium built for the previous year's Summer Olympics.

Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
The Launching Pad
Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Postcard (1960s-70s) (Stadium crop)
circa late 1960s-early 1970s
Former namesAtlanta Stadium (1965–75)
Location521 Capitol Avenue SE
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Coordinates33°44′20″N 84°23′20″W / 33.739°N 84.389°WCoordinates: 33°44′20″N 84°23′20″W / 33.739°N 84.389°W
OwnerCity of Atlanta and
Fulton County
OperatorCity of Atlanta and
Fulton County
CapacityBaseball: 52,007
Football: 60,606
Field size1966–68 & 1974–96
Left field – 330 ft (101 m)
Left-Center – 385 ft (117 m)
Center Field – 402 ft (123 m)
Right-Center – 385 ft (117 m)
Right Field – 330 ft (101 m)

1969–1972
Left field – 330 ft (101 m)
Left-Center – 375 ft (114 m)
Center Field – 402 ft (123 m)
Right-Center – 375 ft (114 m)
Right Field – 330 ft (101 m)

1973
Left field – 330 ft (101 m)
Left-Center – 375 ft (114 m)
Center Field – 402 ft (123 m)
Right-Center – 385 ft (117 m)
Right Field – 330 ft (101 m)
SurfaceNatural grass
Construction
Broke groundApril 15, 1964
OpenedApril 9, 1965[2]
ClosedOctober 24, 1996
DemolishedAugust 2, 1997
Construction costUS$18 million
($143 million in 2019 [1])
ArchitectHeery & Heery
FABRAP[2]
Structural engineerPrybyloski & Gravino[3]
Services engineerLazenby & Borum[3]
General contractorThompson-Street Co.[3][4]
Tenants
Atlanta Crackers (IL) (1965)
Atlanta Braves (MLB) (1966–96)
Atlanta Falcons (NFL) (1966–91)
Atlanta Chiefs (NASL) (1967–69, 1971–72, 1979–81)
Peach Bowl (NCAA) (1971–92)

History

Atlanta Stadium
Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium during demolition, December 31, 1996

During his 1961 campaign for mayor of Atlanta, Ivan Allen, Jr. promised to build a sports facility to attract a Major League Baseball team. After winning office, Allen chose a 47-acre (19 ha) plot in the Washington–Rawson neighborhood for the building site, citing its proximity to the state capitol, downtown businesses, and major highways. Allen and The Atlanta Journal sports editor Furman Bisher attempted to persuade Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City Athletics, to move his team to Atlanta. Finley was receptive and began discussing stadium design plans with Allen. However, the deal ended in July 1963 when the American League did not approve the move.[2]

In 1964, Mayor Allen announced that an unidentified team had given him a verbal commitment to move to Atlanta, provided a stadium was in place by 1966. Soon afterward, the prospective team was revealed to be the Milwaukee Braves, who announced in October that they intended to move to Atlanta for the 1965 season. However, court battles kept the Braves in Milwaukee for one last season.[5]

The new stadium was built on the site of the cleared Washington–Rawson neighborhood, which a half-century before had been a wealthy neighborhood home to Georgia's governor, among others, but which by the 1960s had fallen on hard times. Forty-seven dignitaries took part in a groundbreaking ceremony on April 15, 1964,[6] and that November, the Braves signed a 25-year agreement to play there, beginning in 1966.[7] Construction was completed on April 9, 1965, for $18 million, and that night the Milwaukee Braves and Detroit Tigers played an exhibition game in the stadium.[2][8] During that year the International League's Atlanta Crackers, whose previous home had been Ponce de Leon Park, played their final season in Atlanta Stadium.

In 1966, both the National League's transplanted Braves and the National Football League's Atlanta Falcons, an expansion team, began to use the facilities. In 1967, the Atlanta Chiefs of the National Professional Soccer League (re-formed as the North American Soccer League in 1968) began the first of five seasons played at the stadium.[9] The venue hosted the second match of the NASL Final 1968 and two matches of the NASL Final 1971.

On February 11, 1975, the stadium's name was changed to the compound Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium after the county threatened to withdraw its financial support.[10] However, the official website of the Atlanta Braves maintains that the name change occurred after Ted Turner purchased the team in 1976.[11]

The Falcons moved to the Georgia Dome in 1992, while the Braves had to wait until the Olympic Stadium from the 1996 Summer Olympics was transformed into Turner Field to move out at the beginning of the 1997 season. The stadium sat 60,606 for football and 52,007 for baseball. The baseball competition for the 1996 Summer Olympics was held at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium while the Braves were on a three-week road trip.

Demolition

AtlantaStadiumdestroyed
Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium being demolished
The former site of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
The site where Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium once stood is now a parking lot.
Aaron 715
The fence and wall display in the center of the picture commemorates the spot at which Hank Aaron's 715th home run landed on April 8, 1974.

Following the Olympics and the 1996 World Series, Fulton County commissioner, Marvin S. Arrington, Sr., had a plan to save the stadium and use it as a professional soccer arena and share the parking facilities between it and Turner Field but he was unable to push it through.[12]

Between 1996 and 1997, the inside of the stadium was demolished. The stadium was imploded on August 2, 1997; the remains were later removed and demolished. A parking lot, built for Turner Field now stands on the site, with an outline of the old stadium built in. The monument that marked the landing point of Hank Aaron's historic 715th home run stands in the same place it did when the stadium was on the site.

Redevelopment

Upon the Atlanta Braves' move to SunTrust Park in suburban Cobb County after the 2016 season, the stadium site and the adjacent Turner Field were purchased by Georgia State University in 2016, with final approval from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on November 9 of that year. Georgia State will build a new park for its baseball team within the footprint of Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, while Turner Field was renovated into Georgia State's new football stadium.[13]

Notable events

Baseball

  • On April 12, 1966, Joe Torre hit the first major league home run in the history of Atlanta Stadium.[14]
  • On July 25, 1972 the stadium hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Hank Aaron hit a home run during the game, and the National League won it, 4–3, in 10 innings.
  • On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron became baseball's all-time career home run leader by hitting his 715th home run off the Los Angeles Dodgers' Al Downing.
  • During a series between the Braves and the San Diego Padres, one game spawned several brawls between the two teams. On August 12, 1984, Braves pitcher Pascual Pérez hit the Padres' Alan Wiggins with a pitch; Wiggins did not charge the mound, but the Padres vowed revenge on Pérez for his actions (several Padres were ejected in their subsequent attempts to hit Pérez). When Pérez was finally hit, by a pitch thrown by the Padres' Craig Lefferts, the first of many bench-clearing brawls began. By the time the game was over, both teams' lineups had been nearly emptied (due to all the ejections on both sides).[15]
  • The stadium hosted the World Series for the first time in 1991 when the Braves played the Minnesota Twins in what ESPN judged to be the best World Series ever played.[16] The Braves won all three games played in Atlanta, two in their final at-bat, but lost the series in seven games.
  • The 1992 World Series saw the Braves play the Toronto Blue Jays with the Blue Jays defeating the Braves four games to two, including two of three in Atlanta.
  • On July 20, 1993, a fire occurred in the stadium press box during batting practice for that evening's game against the St. Louis Cardinals. This fire occurred on the same day that Fred McGriff joined the Braves.
  • On October 10, 1995, the Braves clinched the 1995 NLDS the 1st team to win a Division Series since the NLDS format in the playoff system began that same year. They defeated the Colorado Rockies 3 games to 1, with the decisive win at home.
  • On October 28, 1995, the Braves clinched the 1995 World Series by defeating the Cleveland Indians, 1–0, on a one-hit, 8-inning performance by pitcher Tom Glavine. The title was the Braves' first World Series championship in Atlanta, making one title in each of the three cities in which they have resided (also Boston and Milwaukee).
  • September 23, 1996 marked the stadium's final regular season game as the Braves played host to the Montreal Expos. Atlanta won the game 3–1 and clinched the NL Eastern Division title in the process.[17]
  • The stadium's final event was Game 5 of the 1996 World Series, when the Braves played host to the New York Yankees. The final score was 1–0 in favor of the Yankees, with the ballpark's final run scored by Charlie Hayes. The final ceremonial first pitch was thrown to Eddie Perez by former President Jimmy Carter, who had done the honors at Braves home openers while still Governor of Georgia. The winning pitcher was New York's Andy Pettitte, defeating the Braves' John Smoltz. The final hit was recorded by Atlanta's Chipper Jones, who doubled off of Pettitte in the bottom of the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Luis Polonia was the final out in Fulton County Stadium's history, hitting a deep fly ball to right-center field that was caught by Yankee right fielder Paul O'Neill, which gave the stadium's final save to John Wetteland. (Since no home runs were hit in that game the final home run in the stadium's history belongs to Jim Leyritz, who hit a 3-run home run in Game 4. Leyritz was also Pettitte's batterymate for Game 5.)

Football

Concerts

Date Artist Opening act(s) Tour / Concert name Attendance Revenue Notes
August 18, 1965 The Beatles King Curtis
Cannibal and the Headhunters
Brenda Holloway
Sounds Incorporated
1965 US Tour This is the band's only concert in Atlanta.
May 4, 1973 Led Zeppelin 1973 North American Tour 49,233 It was estimated that of the 49,233 people in attendance, about 16,000 of them sat on the field making it the largest single musical performance in the history of the state.
September 22, 1973 Elton John Sutherland Brothers & Quiver Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Tour
June 5, 1976 ZZ Top Marshall Tucker Band
Elvin Bishop
Worldwide Texas Tour 45,000 / 65,000 $425,000
August 29, 1976 Kiss Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
Johnny & Edgar Winter
Blue Öyster Cult
38 Special
Destroyer Tour
October 26 & 27, 1984 The Jacksons Victory Tour 61,000 $1,960,000
October 20, 1988 George Michael The Bangles Faith World Tour

Other events

Layout

The stadium was relatively nondescript, one of the many multi-purpose stadia built during the 1960s and 1970s, similar to Veterans Stadium, RFK Stadium, the Astrodome, Three Rivers Stadium, Busch Memorial Stadium, Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum and Riverfront Stadium.

As was the case for every stadium that used this design concept, the fundamentally different sizes and shapes of baseball and football fields made it inadequate for both sports. In the baseball configuration, 70% of the seats were in foul territory.[5] In the football configuration, seats on the 50-yard-line—normally prime seats for football—were more than 50 yards (46 m) away from the sidelines.[19] One unusual feature of this stadium is the fact that, unlike most multi-purpose stadiums – where the football field was laid either parallel to one of the foul lines or running from home plate to center field – the football field here was laid along a line running between first and third base. Oakland Coliseum has a similar configuration.[20] Thus, a seat behind home plate for baseball would also be on the 50-yard line for football. The stadium was refurbished for the 1996 season prior to hosting the Olympic baseball competition.[21][22]

Unlike similarly designed outdoor stadiums—such as Riverfront Stadium and Busch Memorial Stadium—Fulton County Stadium always had a natural grass surface. However, for many years it was notorious for its poor field conditions.[23] Until 1989, it didn't have full-time groundskeepers. Instead, it was tended by a municipal street-maintenance crew.[24]

Due to the elevation of the Atlanta area (situated at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains), the stadium boasted the highest elevation in baseball when it opened, at 1,050 feet (320 m) above sea level. It retained this distinction for 27 seasons, until the expansion Colorado Rockies entered the National League in 1993. The elevation and Southern summer heat made it favorable to home run hitters, resulting in the nickname "The Launching Pad."[23]

Fulton County Stadium was designed by a joint-venture team of FABRAP (Finch Alexander Barnes Rothschild & Paschal) and Heery, Inc.[2]

Seating capacity

Baseball
Years Capacity
1965 51,500[25]
1966–1967 50,893[26]
1968–1971 51,383[27]
1972–1974 52,744[28]
1974–1975 52,870[29]
1976–1978 51,556[30]
1979–1981 52,194[31]
1982 52,785[32]
1983 52,934[33]
1985 53,046[34]
1986 52,006[35]
1987–1989 52,003[36]
1989–1991 52,007[37]
1992–1994 52,013[38]
1995 52,710[39]
1996 52,769[40]
Football
Years Capacity
1965–1966 56,891[41]
1967–1976 58,850[41]
1977 60,489[41]
1978–1984 60,763[42]
1985–1986 59,709[43]
1987–1996 59,643[44]

References

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Fenster, Kenneth R (August 4, 2006). "Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium". newgeorgiaencyclopedia.org. Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "New Atlanta Stadium to Stop Rubbernecking" (PDF). Modern Steel Construction. V (1): 10–11. 1965.
  4. ^ "Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium". Ballparks.com. Munsey & Suppes. April 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Curt (2001). Storied Stadiums. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1187-6.
  6. ^ "Atlanta begins park construction". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. April 16, 1964. p. 12.
  7. ^ "Atlanta has long tradition of winning baseball teams". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Idaho. Associated Press. November 12, 1964. p. 19.
  8. ^ "Dixie-style welcome due tonight when Braves dedicate new stadium". Rome News-Tribune. Georgia. UPI. April 9, 1965. p. 10.
  9. ^ Atlanta Chiefs Archived December 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Gray, Jim (February 12, 1975). "Fulton County Gets Name on Stadium". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 12A.
  11. ^ "Ballpark history". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  12. ^ Arrington, Marvin (2008). Making My Mark. Mercer University Press. p. 167.
  13. ^ "Georgia State buys Turner Field, will convert it for football". ESPN. Associated Press. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  14. ^ "Home Run Baptism of New Parks". sabr.org. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 18, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "ESPN: WORLD SERIES 100th ANNIVERSARY". espn.go.com.
  17. ^ "1996 Atlanta Braves Schedule - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  18. ^ "2015 AMA Supercross media guide" (PDF). Amasupercross.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  19. ^ Reilly, Rick. Peach State Lemons. Sports Illustrated, October 3, 1988.
  20. ^ "Aerial photograph of stadium" (JPG). Stadiumsofprofootball.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  21. ^ 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 539.
  22. ^ 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 3. p. 450.
  23. ^ a b Lowry, Phillip (2005). Green Cathedrals. New York City: Walker & Company. ISBN 0-8027-1562-1.
  24. ^ Stadium profile at Ballparks.com
  25. ^ "Atlanta Stadium Opens April 9". The Gadsden Times. March 14, 1965. p. 23. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  26. ^ Speer, Ron (April 3, 1966). "Dixie Awaits Big League Bow". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. p. 13. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  27. ^ "1969 Atlanta Braves". 1969 Baseball Replay. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  28. ^ "Site of 1972 All–Star Game". Star-Banner. Ocala. June 14, 1972. p. 3D. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  29. ^ "Atlanta 'Salutes Aaron' in Monday Extravaganza". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. April 7, 1974. p. B6. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  30. ^ "Stadiums of 1977". The Baseball Times. 1977. p. 5.
  31. ^ Smith, Chris (June 26, 1980). "Bag of Lemons". The News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. p. 1D. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  32. ^ "Braves Playoff Tickets Almost Gone". The News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. Associated Press. October 6, 1982. p. 4D. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  33. ^ Chick, Bob (June 15, 1983). "Fans Could Love This Kind of Stadium". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. p. 1C. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  34. ^ "National League". Orlando Sentinel. June 2, 1985. p. C7. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  35. ^ "Braves Looking to Draw 50,000 for Big July 4th". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. July 4, 1986. p. E7. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  36. ^ "Braves vs. Phillies". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 7, 1987. p. E5. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  37. ^ "Braves Sellouts Are Rare". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. July 11, 1990. p. E2. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  38. ^ "On Deck: Braves vs. Giants". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 9, 1992. p. E8. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  39. ^ "Home of the Braves". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 5, 1995. p. E11. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  40. ^ "Ballpark Blase: Fans Cool to Braves". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 24, 1996. p. C1. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  41. ^ a b c "Falcons Believe They Can Win". The Miami News. Associated Press. October 11, 1966. p. 3C. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  42. ^ "Falcons Need a Victory". The Gadsden Times. Associated Press. October 29, 1978. p. 19. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  43. ^ "Falcons-Redskins Game a Sellout". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 31, 1985. p. E3. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  44. ^ "Owners: Attendance Will Improve". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 12, 1987. p. D7. Retrieved August 19, 2013.

External links

1966 Major League Baseball season

The 1966 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 11 to October 9, 1966. The Atlanta Braves played their inaugural season in Atlanta, following their relocation from Milwaukee. Three teams played the 1966 season in new stadiums. On April 12, the Braves ushered in Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium with the Pittsburgh Pirates taking a 3–2 win in 13 innings. One week later, Anaheim Stadium opened with the California Angels losing to the Chicago White Sox, 3–1 in the Angels' debut in neighboring Orange County. On May 8, the St. Louis Cardinals closed out old Sportsman's Park/Busch Stadium I with a 10–5 loss to the San Francisco Giants before opening the new Busch Memorial Stadium four days later with a 4–3 win in 12 innings over the Atlanta Braves.

In the World Series the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 0.

1974 Peach Bowl

The 1974 Peach Bowl was a college football bowl game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Vanderbilt represented the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Texas Tech represented the Southwest Conference (SWC) in the competition. The game was the final competition of the 1974 football season for each team and resulted in a 6–6 tie.

1980 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1980 Atlanta Falcons season was the Falcons 15th season and culminated in their first division title in franchise history. After a 3-3 start, the Falcons went on a nine-game winning streak as Quarterback Steve Bartkowski passed for a career best 3,544 yards while connecting on 31 Touchdown passes. As the NFC's top seed, the Falcons gained home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Falcons season ended with a 30-27 divisional playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys before 60,022 fans at Fulton County Stadium. It was an excruciating defeat as Atlanta had leads of both 24-10 and 27-17 before falling to Danny White's TD pass to Drew Pearson in the final minute.

1982 Atlanta Braves season

The 1982 Atlanta Braves season was the 17th in Atlanta and the 112th overall. They went 89–73 and won the NL West division for the first time since 1969, but were swept in 3 games by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

1982 Peach Bowl

The 1982 Peach Bowl, part of the 1982 bowl season, took place on December 31, 1982, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The competing teams were the Iowa Hawkeyes, representing the Big Ten Conference, and the Tennessee Volunteers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). This was the first ever meeting between the schools, and Iowa was victorious by a final score of 28–22.

1986 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1986 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 21st season in the National Football League (NFL). It began with moderate expectations. Head coach Dan Henning was going into his fourth year having failed to post a record above .500 in any of his first three seasons. Local media, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, saw it as Henning's last chance to save his head coaching job. Atlanta entered the season led by, among others, Gerald Riggs, Scott Case, Bill Fralic and Jeff Van Note. David Archer was the starting quarterback heading into the season.

1988 Peach Bowl (December)

The 1988 Peach Bowl, part of the 1988 bowl season, took place on December 31, 1988, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The competing teams were the Iowa Hawkeyes, representing the Big Ten Conference, and the NC State Wolfpack of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). In the second meeting between the schools, NC State was victorious by a final score of 28–23.

1988 Peach Bowl (January)

The 1988 Peach Bowl, part of the 1987 bowl game season, took place on January 2, 1988, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The competing teams were the Tennessee Volunteers, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the Indiana Hoosiers of the Big Ten Conference (Big 10). In what was the first ever meeting between the schools, Tennessee was victorious by a final score of 27–22.

1990 Atlanta Falcons season

The 1990 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's 25th season in the National Football League (NFL). Jerry Glanville was hired to be the team’s new coach. The franchise changed their helmets from red to black. Atlanta looked to improve on its 3–13 record from 1989. The team did improve by finishing 5–11, but the Falcons still suffered an eighth consecutive losing season. 1990 started out pretty well for Atlanta, as they beat playoff contenders Houston, New Orleans, and Cincinnati at home. The team sat at 3–4 after their win against Cincinnati. It then lost seven games in a row before winning its last two to end the season. Atlanta went 5–3 at home, but winless on the road, which cost the Falcons a trip to the postseason.

1990 Peach Bowl

The 1990 Peach Bowl, part of the 1990 bowl game season, took place on December 29, 1990, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The competing teams were the Auburn Tigers, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the Indiana Hoosiers of the Big Ten Conference (Big 10). In what was the first ever meeting between the schools, Auburn was victorious in by a final score of 27–23.

1992 Peach Bowl

The 1992 Peach Bowl was an American college football bowl game that was played on January 1, 1992, at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The game matched the North Carolina State Wolfpack against the East Carolina Pirates. It was the final contest of the 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams, and ended in a 37–34 victory for the Pirates. This was the last edition of the Peach Bowl, as well as the last overall football game, played at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, as the game moved to the Georgia Dome in the following year.

1993 Peach Bowl (January)

The 1993 Peach Bowl, part of the 1992 bowl game season, featured the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. It was the first Peach Bowl played at the Georgia Dome after 20 years at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium.North Carolina came from behind for the win after trailing 14-0 after a quarter of play. Mississippi State missed chances to extend its lead in the second quarter when two touchdowns were scuttled by holding penalties. The Tar Heels then drove 82 yards to open the second half and Natrone Means pounded in the score, UNC's only offensive touchdown of the day. Means finished with 128 yards.

Bracey Walker blocked two punts, including one for a 24-yard scoring return that tied the game at 14 in the third quarter. The defensive MVP also laid a big hit to key a 44-yard interception return by teammate Cliff Baskervillle for the go-ahead TD in the fourth quarter. MSU added a late field goal, but turned the ball over via interception and downs inside the Tar Heels' 30 on two late drives.

1996 National League Championship Series

The 1996 National League Championship Series (NLCS) matched the East Division champion Atlanta Braves and the Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals. It was the second NLCS meeting of the two teams and first since 1982. The Braves won in seven games, becoming the eighth team in baseball history to win a best-of-seven postseason series after being down 3–1, and first to overcome such a deficit in the NLCS. They outscored the Cardinals, 32–1, over the final three games. Also, Bobby Cox became the only manager to be on both the winning and losing end of such a comeback in postseason history, having previously blown the 1985 American League Championship Series with the Toronto Blue Jays against the Kansas City Royals.

The Braves would go on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series in six games.

1996 World Series

The 1996 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1996 season. The 92nd edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion (and defending World Series champion) Atlanta Braves and the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees. The Yankees defeated the Braves, four games to two, to capture their first World Series title since 1978 and their 23rd World Series championship overall. The series was played from October 20–26, 1996, and was broadcast on television on Fox. Yankees relief pitcher John Wetteland was named the World Series Most Valuable Player for saving all four Yankee wins.

The Yankees advanced to the World Series by defeating the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, three games to one, and then the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Championship Series, four games to one. It was the Yankees' first appearance in a World Series since 1981. The Braves advanced to the Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series, three games to none, and then the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, four games to three. It was the Braves' second consecutive appearance in a World Series.

The Yankees lost the first two games at home, being outscored by the Braves, 16–1. However, they rebounded to win the next four games, the last three in close fashion, including a dramatic comeback win in Game 4 to tie the series. They became the third team to win a World Series after losing Games 1 and 2 at their home stadium, following the Kansas City Royals in 1985 and the New York Mets in 1986. They also became the first team since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 to win four consecutive games in a World Series after losing the first two.

Game 5 was the final game to be played at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, as the Braves moved into Turner Field the following season. Atlanta became the only city to host the World Series and the Olympics in the same year and Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium became the only stadium to host baseball in an Olympics and the World Series in the same year.

Braves Bleacher Creature

The Atlanta Braves Bleacher Creature was a mascot for the Atlanta Braves major league baseball team during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It featured a green shaggy fur with a Braves cap and logo on top. The word Braves was written across its chest in big red letters. It had a permanent toothless smile. The mascot usually roamed the stands from time to time during home games and was intended more for the entertainment of younger fans.

The mascot was originally costumed by Alan Stensland, then a student at Georgia Tech. Stensland was working as an usher at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium when he was approached to wear the costume. The outfit required someone who was 5"8" to 5'10" tall, and Alan met the height and shoe size requirements. Alan recalls having one of his costume's eyes removed by a youngster on his first night out. They also attempted to bust his kneecaps on bat night. During the 1977 season, the mascot made some 250 appearances at games, parties, and parades.Stensland was only 18 at the time he first donned the costume. The most intense problem he had was the heat. With the added humidity, a really "funky smell" permeated the inside of the costume. Once Stensland graduated, he left the Braves organization.

The mascot role was then taken over by Dennis Coffey, a friend of Alan and a student at M.D. Collins High School in College Park, Georgia. Coffey had worked as an usher during the 1977 Braves and Atlanta Falcons seasons at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium and served as an assistant to Stensland. Dennis performed as the Braves Bleacher Creature from 1978 to 1981, when the mascot was retired. During that time, the Bleacher Creature was present at all Atlanta home games, numerous homes games for the Savannah Braves and Greenwood Braves. Dennis appeared as the Bleacher Creature in various parades, schools, hospitals, little league events, mall openings, etc. Coffey graduated from M.D. Collins High and went on to also attend and graduate from Georgia Tech.Public appearances were scheduled through the Atlanta Braves Public Relations office and were most often for charitable events such as the Special Olympics, hospital visits, public events, such as parades, little league opening day ceremonies, and Spring Festivals all over Georgia and the southeast. Coffey appeared as the Bleacher Creature in places as far away as Decatur, Alabama. As the Bleacher Creature, Dennis Coffey typically made 8 to 10 scheduled appearances per week during the off-season and as many as 20 appearances weekly during baseball season, in addition to being present at all Atlanta Braves home games.

The original Bleacher Creature costume was designed and fabricated by Kathy Spetz. After several successful years, the Braves organization decided to 'slim down' the Bleacher Creature. Spetz redesigned the mascot with a slimmer physique and the Braves introduced his new profile mid-season 1980. An introduction party was set up at a Braves home game, pre-event media was used to announce the change and special hats were giving out to all fans attending. Coffey continued to fill the Bleacher Creature role until the mascot was retired at the close of the 1981 Braves season. Dennis Coffey's notable quote when asked about being the Bleacher Creature was most commonly, "It's fun if you like being green!" Coffey obviously enjoyed being green as he was mentioned in many newspaper articles and press releases during his career with the Braves as being humorous, fun-loving and great with fans and kids alike.

List of Atlanta Braves Opening Day starting pitchers

The Atlanta Braves are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Atlanta. They play in the National League East division. They were based in Milwaukee and Boston before moving to Atlanta for the 1966 season. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Atlanta Braves have used 19 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 47 seasons in Atlanta. The 19 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 14 wins, 20 losses and 13 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.Hall of Famer Phil Niekro holds the Atlanta Braves' record for most Opening Day starts, with eight. He has a record in Opening Day starts for the Braves of no wins and six losses with two no decisions. Greg Maddux had seven Opening Day starts for the team and Rick Mahler had five. Tom Glavine and John Smoltz have each made four Opening Day starts for the Braves. Maddux has the record for most wins in Atlanta Braves Opening Day starts, with five. Mahler has the highest winning percentage in Opening Day starts (1.000), with four wins and no losses with one no decision. All of Mahler's four victories were shutouts, including three in consecutive years (1985 to 1987) by identical scores of 6–0. Niekro has the record for most losses in Atlanta Braves Opening Day starts, with six.From 1972 through 1980, the Braves lost nine consecutive Opening Day games. In those games, their starting pitchers had a record of no wins, six losses and three no decisions. Niekro had five of the losses during this streak, and Carl Morton had the other. Morton, Gary Gentry and Andy Messersmith had no decisions during the streak. One of the most famous Opening Day games in baseball history occurred during this stretch. That was the game on April 4, 1974, against the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium, when Hank Aaron hit his 714th career home run to tie Babe Ruth's all-time record. Carl Morton was Atlanta's starting pitcher for that game, and received a no decision.Overall, Atlanta Braves Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 4–5 with four no decisions at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, their original home ball park in Atlanta and a 3–3 record with three no decisions at their second home park in Atlanta, Turner Field. The Braves have yet to open a season at their current home of SunTrust Park, which opened for the 2017 season; the first regular-season game at SunTrust Park was the Braves' ninth of the 2017 season. This gives the Atlanta Braves' Opening Day starting pitchers a combined home record 7–8 with five no decisions. Their away record is 7–12 with eight no decisions. The Braves went on to play in the World Series in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 1999, and won the 1995 World Series championship games. John Smoltz was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1991, Tom Glavine in 1992 and 1999, and Greg Maddux in 1995 and 1996. They had a combined Opening Day record of 3–2 in years that the Atlanta Braves played in the World Series.

Turner Field

Turner Field was a stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1997 to 2016, it served as the home ballpark to the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). Originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium in 1996 to serve as the centerpiece of the 1996 Summer Olympics, the stadium was converted into a baseball park to serve as the new home of the team. The Braves moved less than one block from Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, which served as their home ballpark for 31 seasons from 1966 to 1996.

Opening during the Braves' "division dominance" years, Turner Field hosted the NLDS a total of 11 times (1997–2005, 2010, 2013), the NLCS four times (1997–1999, 2001), one World Series (1999), one NL Wild Card Game (2012, the first in baseball history), and the 2000 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The Braves played the final game at Turner Field on October 2, 2016, a 1–0 win over the Detroit Tigers. The franchise allowed its lease on the facility to expire at the end of the calendar year. In 2017, the team moved to the newly-constructed SunTrust Park, located in nearby Cobb County.

The stadium has been reconfigured for the second time, redesigned for college football as Georgia State Stadium. Architecture firm Heery was responsible for both stadium conversions.

Venues of the 1996 Summer Olympics

For the 1996 Summer Olympics, a total of twenty-nine sports venues were used.

Several sports venues for the 1996 Olympics were built before the 1960s as college venues. The first professional teams in Atlanta came in 1966, when Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves moved from Milwaukee and the NFL added the Atlanta Falcons as an expansion team. In 1968, the NBA came to the city when the Atlanta Hawks arrived from St. Louis, and the NHL arrived four years later with the expansion Atlanta Flames.

The Braves and Falcons shared Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium from 1966 through 1991, after which the Falcons moved into the Georgia Dome, playing at that stadium from 1992 through 2016. The Braves would remain at the former stadium through the 1996 season. The Hawks initially played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, now McCamish Pavilion, on the campus of Georgia Institute of Technology before the Omni Coliseum was completed in 1972 for both the Hawks and Flames. After the 1979–80 season, the Flames left for their current home of Calgary.

Bidding for the 1996 Games was held in 1990. Seventy-five percent of the venues used for the 1996 Games were owned by the state of Georgia. One of the new venues, the Georgia International Horse Park, had organization problems for the modern pentathlon event that included the competitors being forced to sit under an oak tree during the riding part of the event. The Georgia World Congress Center hosted the dramatic weightlifting 64 kg event that involved national tensions between Greece and Turkey.

After the Olympics, the Olympic Stadium, as intended from its construction, was converted into a baseball park known as Turner Field, which opened in 1997. That same year, both Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium and the Omni Coliseum were imploded within one week of one another. Philips Arena (since renamed State Farm Arena) was built upon the former Omni's footprint and opened in 1999, while the area where Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium stood is now a parking lot near Turner Field. The Braves vacated Turner Field after their 2016 season to move to a new ballpark, SunTrust Park, in Cobb County; Georgia State University acquired Turner Field and its surrounding parking lots in January 2017 and converted the former Olympic Stadium a second time into Georgia State Stadium to host their college football program.

Washington–Rawson

Washington–Rawson was a neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. It included what is now Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field) and the large parking lot to its north, until 1997 the site of Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, as well as the I-20-Downtown Connector interchange. Washington and Rawson streets intersected where the interchange is today. To the northwest was Downtown Atlanta, to the west Mechanicsville, to the east Summerhill, and to the south Washington Heights, now called Peoplestown.

Events and tenants
Preceded by
First stadium
Home of the
Atlanta Falcons

1966–1991
Succeeded by
Georgia Dome
Preceded by
Milwaukee County Stadium
Home of the
Atlanta Braves

1966–1996
Succeeded by
Turner Field
Preceded by
Grant Field
Home of the
Peach Bowl

1971–1991
Succeeded by
Georgia Dome
Preceded by
Tiger Stadium
Host of the All-Star Game
1972
Succeeded by
Royals Stadium
Atlanta landmarks
Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Key personnel
World Series
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National League
Championships (17)
World's Championship Series
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National Association
Championships (4)
Division titles (18)
Wild card berths (2)
Minor league
affiliates
Broadcasting
Franchise
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Wild card berths (7)
Division championships (6)
Conference championships (2)
Ring of Honor
Current league affiliations
Seasons (54)
Olympic Ring
Metro Atlanta
Other venues
Baseball
Basque pelota
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Croquet
Jeu de paume
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Polo
Rackets
Roque
Softball
Tug of war
Water motorsports
Defunct stadiums of the National Football League
Early era:
19201940
Merger era:
19411970
Current era:
1971–present
Stadiums
used by
NFL teams
temporarily

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