Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
|Opened||April 12, 1966|
|Closed||October 24, 1996|
|Owned By||City of Atlanta and Fulton County|
Heery & Heery and Finch,
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was a baseball and football stadium that formerly stood in Atlanta, Georgia. Completed in just 50 weeks' time, for $18 million, it opened in the spring of 1965. It was intended as the home of the soon-to-be-relocating Braves, but court battles kept the team in Milwaukee as a lame duck for a year. So the new stadium had a lame duck of its own for that first season: the Atlanta Crackers of the International League, whose previous home had been Ponce de Leon Park at 650 Ponce de Leon Avenue. In 1966, both the NL's transplanted Atlanta Braves and the NFL's expansion Atlanta Falcons moved in. 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 renovated into Turner Field to move out at the beginning of the 1997 season. The stadium sat 60,700 for football and 52,013 for baseball.
The stadium was relatively nondescript, one of the many saucer-shaped multipurpose facilities built during the 1960s. The stadium was long known for the poor quality of the field of play – no one bothered to hire full-time groundskeepers until the early 1990s, instead relying on a city work crew. The relatively high elevation meant that the stadium was relatively favorable to long-ball hitters, giving rise to the nickname The Launching Pad. That factor certainly helped boost Henry Aaron's home run output, and he reached the all-time record sooner here than he might have in Milwaukee. The stadium was refurbished for the 1996 season because it hosted the Olympic baseball competition. It probably looked better in many ways in its last season than it had in its first.
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was imploded on August 2, 1997. A parking lot for Turner Field now stands on the site, with an outline of the old stadium, and a plaque marking the spot where Hank Aaron's historic 715th career home run landed on April 8, 1974, in what was formerly the Braves bullpen. That was one of the two most historic events ever to occur in the old park. The other came on October 28, 1995, when the home team defeated the Cleveland Indians to achieve a Braves World Series championship. Through the 2004 season, the Braves have resided in three cities and have one World Series ring to show for each.
- Maps and aerial photos
- TerraServer photo of old stadium outline in parking lot, and Turner Field