University spokesperson: Not in talks for Turner Field

Georgia State University spokesperson Andrea Jones told The Signal that WXIA-TV 11 Alive News “manufactured” a story out of Georgia State University President Dr. Mark Becker’s comments on Turner Field property.

Jones said Georgia State is not in talks with anyone for Turner Field’s property that will be available in 2017 after the Atlanta Braves depart from their home to move to Cobb County.

She said Dr. Becker said he was interested in the land the same way they are interested in any land that becomes available in Atlanta for the university’s growth and expansion.

11 Alive published a story late Tuesday that said Becker expressed interest in Turner Field’s property in a recent interview. Becker told 11 Alive he sees potential in the 55 acres of land that will become available once the  Braves leave Turner Field.

“You could do a variety of things,” Becker said to 11 Alive. “You could see housing developing. Grant Park is not that far away. You might see some retail potentially in that area.”

Becker said the stadium would be a good fit for the Georgia State football team, which currently plays at the Georgia Dome. However, he did not say anything about it acting as possible replacement for Panthersville, the current home of several Georgia State sports off-campus in Panthersville, Ga.

“I believe it was the Olympic Stadium…and the Olympic Stadium had a footprint more like a football stadium than a baseball stadium. So I would have to believe that could happen,” Becker said to 11 Alive.

Becker also said the land would be suitable for student housing, a necessity for Georgia State, but as part of a larger development plan.

“Turner Field is much too large for Georgia State alone,” he said. “Whatever would happen for Georgia State over there is going to have to be part of a much larger vision and a larger plan.”

The Signal reached out to Georgia State on Nov. 11, the day the Braves announced they would be leaving the stadium in 2017.

Andrea Jones, associate vice president for Public Relations and Marketing Communications at Georgia State, told The Signal “There’s been no discussion or plans,”  when asked if Georgia State had any plans of doing business with Turner Field.

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