Turner Field may be no more, but Georgia State University’s new football stadium sure looks a lot like the Braves’ old home—for now.
Georgia State officially took possession of Turner Field—originally built as the Olympic Stadium for the 1996 Summer Games—in January, and the school has quickly launched construction to transform the stadium into its new football venue.
The stadium set the school back $22.8 million. Which is cheaper than the initial listing price of Tyler Perry’s estate.
According to 11 Alive, the first construction phase includes reducing the facility’s capacity to 23,000 seats and reconfiguring the field for football. Work will be done by the end of August, when the Panthers take on Tennessee State in their 2017 home opener.
Video from the station shows that many seats have started to come out, and sections of the stands are being removed to accommodate the larger field.
Thanks to the constricted timeline for work before the first game, much of the stadium will appear unchanged from when the Braves skedaddled to Cobb.
But, the school has big plans over the course of the next few years.
A second phase of construction will add more seats to the reconfigured stadium and possibly even office and classroom space, or possibly dorms, in place of the existing right-field seats. Plans haven’t been entirely worked out.
Meanwhile, plans call for the acres of parking surrounding the stadium to ultimately be redeveloped into a dense extension of downtown, with retail, restaurants, residences, and new office space.