Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium

Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
The Launching Pad
Former names Atlanta Stadium (1965–76)
Location 521 Capitol Avenue SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30312 USA
Coordinates 33°44′22″N 84°23′22″W / 33.73944°N 84.38944°W / 33.73944; -84.38944Coordinates: 33°44′22″N 84°23′22″W / 33.73944°N 84.38944°W / 33.73944; -84.38944
Owner City of Atlanta and Fulton County
Operator City of Atlanta and Fulton County
Capacity Baseball: 52,007
Football: 60,606
Field size 1966–68 & 1974–96
Left field – 330 ft.
Left-Center – 385 ft.
Center Field – 402 ft.
Right-Center – 385 ft.
Right Field – 330 ft.

Left field – 330 ft.
Left-Center – 375 ft.
Center Field – 402 ft.
Right-Center – 375 ft.
Right Field – 330 ft.

Left field – 330 ft.
Left-Center – 375 ft.
Center Field – 402 ft.
Right-Center – 385 ft.
Right Field – 330 ft.
Surface Grass
Broke ground April 15, 1964
Opened April 9, 1965[1]
Closed October 24, 1996
Demolished August 2, 1997
Construction cost US$18 million
($135 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Architect Heery & Heery
Structural engineer Prybyloski & Gravino[3]
Services engineer Lazenby & Borum[3]
General contractor Thompson-Street Co.[3][4]
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)
Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium in June, 1974

Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, often referred to as Fulton County Stadium and originally named Atlanta Stadium, was a multi-purpose stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The stadium was built to attract a Major League Baseball team and in 1966 succeeded when the Milwaukee Braves relocated from Wisconsin. The Braves and Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League shared the venue from 1966 until 1991, when the Falcons moved into the newly completed Georgia Dome. The Braves continued to play at Fulton County Stadium until the end of the 1996 season, when they moved into Turner Field, the converted Centennial Olympic Stadium which had been built for the 1996 Summer Olympics.


Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium before opening in 1966

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 plot in the Washington–Rawson neighborhood for the building site, citing its proximity to the Georgia 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.[1]

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 50 year before had been a wealthy neighborhood home to Georgia's governor, among others, but which by the 1960s had fallen on hard times. 47 dignitaries took part in a groundbreaking ceremony on April 15, 1964. Almost a year later, construction was completed on April 9, 1965 for $18 million, and on the same night the Milwaukee Braves and Detroit Tigers played an exhibition game in the stadium.[1] 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.[6]

After Ted Turner purchased the Braves in 1976, the stadium's name was changed to the compound Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium.[7]

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.

Notable events


Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium being demolished
The site where Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium once stood is now a parking lot for Turner Field. 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, 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.[13]

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 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.

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 will be renovated into Georgia State's new football stadium.[14]


The stadium was relatively nondescript, one of the many saucer-shaped multi-purpose stadia built during the 1960s and 1970s, similar to Veterans Stadium, RFK Stadium, Shea Stadium, the Astrodome, Three Rivers Stadium, Busch Memorial Stadium 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 away from the sidelines.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17][18]

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.[19] Until 1989, it didn't have full-time groundskeepers. Instead, it was tended by a municipal street-maintenance crew.[20]

Due to the relatively high 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 above sea level. It retained this distinction until the Colorado Rockies were born in 1993. The high elevation made it favorable to home run hitters, resulting in the nickname "The Launching Pad."[19]

Fulton County Stadium was designed by a joint-venture team of FABRAP (Finch Alexander Barnes Rothschild & Paschal) and Heery, Inc.[1]

Seating capacity




  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Fenster, Kenneth R (2006-08-04). "Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium". Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press. Retrieved June 18, 2012. External link in |website= (help)
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "New Atlanta Stadium to Stop Rubbernecking" (PDF). Modern Steel Construction. V (1): 10–11. 1965.
  4. "Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium". Munsey & Suppes. April 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  5. 1 2 Smith, Curt (2001). Storied Stadiums. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1187-6.
  6. Atlanta Chiefs Archived December 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. "Ballpark history". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  8. "Home Run Baptism of New Parks". Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  9. 2015 AMA Supercross media guide
  11. ESPN: The World Series 100th Anniversary
  13. Arrington, Marvin (2008). Making My Mark. Mercer University Press. p. 167.
  14. "Georgia State buys Turner Field, will convert it for football". Associated Press. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  15. Reilly, Rick. Peach State Lemons. Sports Illustrated, 1988-10-03.
  17. 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 539.
  18. 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 3. p. 450.
  19. 1 2 Lowry, Phillip (2005). Green Cathedrals. New York City: Walker & Company. ISBN 0-8027-1562-1.
  20. Stadium profile at
  21. "Atlanta Stadium Opens April 9". The Gadsden Times. March 14, 1965. p. 23. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  22. Speer, Ron (April 3, 1966). "Dixie Awaits Big League Bow". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. p. 13. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  23. "1969 Atlanta Braves". 1969 Baseball Replay. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  24. "Site of 1972 All–Star Game". Star-Banner. Ocala. June 14, 1972. p. 3D. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  25. "Atlanta 'Salutes Aaron' in Monday Extravaganza". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. April 7, 1974. p. B6. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  26. "Stadiums of 1977". The Baseball Times. 1977. p. 5.
  27. Smith, Chris (June 26, 1980). "Bag of Lemons". The News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. p. 1D. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  28. "Braves Playoff Tickets Almost Gone". The News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. Associated Press. October 6, 1982. p. 4D. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  29. Chick, Bob (June 15, 1983). "Fans Could Love This Kind of Stadium". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. p. 1C. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  30. "National League". Orlando Sentinel. June 2, 1985. p. C7. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  31. "Braves Looking to Draw 50,000 for Big July 4th". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. July 4, 1986. p. E7. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  32. "Braves vs. Phillies". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 7, 1987. p. E5. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  33. "Braves Sellouts Are Rare". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. July 11, 1990. p. E2. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  34. "On Deck: Braves vs. Giants". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 9, 1992. p. E8. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  35. "Home of the Braves". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 5, 1995. p. E11. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  36. "Ballpark Blase: Fans Cool to Braves". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 24, 1996. p. C1. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  37. 1 2 "Falcons Believe They Can Win". The Miami News. Associated Press. October 11, 1966. p. 3C. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  38. "Falcons Need a Victory". The Gadsden Times. Associated Press. October 29, 1978. p. 19. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  39. "Falcons-Redskins Game a Sellout". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 31, 1985. p. E3. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  40. "Owners: Attendance Will Improve". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 12, 1987. p. D7. Retrieved August 19, 2013.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
Events and tenants
Preceded by
First stadium
Home of the
Atlanta Falcons

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

Succeeded by
Turner Field
Preceded by
Grant Field
Home of the
Peach Bowl

Succeeded by
Georgia Dome
Preceded by
Tiger Stadium
Host of the All-Star Game
Succeeded by
Royals Stadium
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