Well, it looks like the universe has decided to make the Turner Field decision a potentially easy one — or not — for everyone involved. The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority has released the names of the only three companies to submit bids for the site. They are (drumroll) ... 1. Carter/Georgia State University/Oakwood Development (no surprise there). 2. Mercury Youth Organization Inc. (huh?), and last but not least, 3. Rita World Pearl Kingdom LLC (WTF?). If you have no idea what the second two groups are — don't worry, you're in good company.
Georgia State had already outed itself as a bidder, intent on moving forward with plans to create a space for the Panthers football team, which currently plays in the Georgia Dome, in addition to student housing, baseball facilities, private housing and new retail. No new information has emerged about that plan, but it's the only one with vocal support from Mayor Kasim Reed. Georgia State has sought the most community input of any other organization — which is to say any — and some have gone as far as to suggest the Request for Proposals was tailored the university.
Mercury Youth Organization is a longstanding track and field club. According to the club's website, it was established in 1972 and is making an effort to develop the city's first indoor track, built in conjunction with a gym, classrooms and a track-and-field hall of fame.
Rita World Pearl Kingdom, or "that last one," as it will be referenced in formal conversation, is a mystery at this point. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, no one has managed to find out anything about it, but based solely on the name, theories abound: Some think it might be a shell company for a casino, others that it might be some new mega-church. A bunch of folks sporting tinfoil hats have said it might a front for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
· Turner Field Survey Seeks Community Input and Bold Ideas [Curbed]
· Deadline Up for Turner Field; Georgia State is In Play [Curbed]
· New Board Member the Latest Twist in Turner Field Saga [Curbed]
· Turner Field bidders released [AJC]