Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, often simply referred to as “Fulton County Stadium,” was a multi-purpose stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Known primarily as the home of the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1966 until 1996, it played a significant role in the sporting and cultural fabric of Atlanta.
Stadium Facts about Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
- Location: Atlanta, Georgia
- Opened On: April 12, 1966
- Closed On: August 2, 1997
- Home Team: Atlanta Braves (National League)
- Stadium Nicknames: N/A
- Dimensions: Left Field – 330 feet, Center Field – 402 feet, Right Field – 330 feet
- Capacity: 52,007
- Attendance Record: 53,775 (1993 World Series)
- Surface: Grass
- Architect: Heery & Heery and Finch Alexander Barnes Rothschild & Paschal
- Owner: City of Atlanta and Fulton County
- Competitions: Hosted the 1972 MLB All-Star Game, numerous playoff games, and the 1995 World Series
- Construction Cost: $18 million (1965)
The Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was constructed in less than a year, a remarkably quick timeframe for a project of its magnitude. Its opening in 1966 coincided with the arrival of the Braves in Atlanta from Milwaukee, symbolizing a new era for Major League Baseball in the South. The stadium not only hosted the Braves but also the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) until 1991.
The stadium’s lifespan covered three decades, during which it witnessed numerous significant events in baseball history. It played an integral role in establishing Atlanta as a major sports city in the United States, serving as a catalyst for the development of the area around it.
Design and Features
Originally designed as a “cookie-cutter” stadium, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was one of several similar multi-purpose stadiums built during the 1960s and 1970s. This design was practical, allowing the stadium to be used for both baseball and football. Its circular shape with symmetrical dimensions was typical of the era, focusing on functionality rather than aesthetic uniqueness.
The stadium’s seating arrangement was designed to accommodate large crowds, with a capacity that could exceed 50,000. Despite its utilitarian design, the stadium had a certain charm and was beloved by fans for its simplicity and the memories it housed.
Over its three decades of use, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium underwent several renovations. These changes were primarily focused on improving the fan experience and modernizing certain aspects of the facility. However, the basic structure and design of the stadium remained largely unchanged throughout its existence.
In the 1990s, as the trend moved towards more specialized and modern stadiums, it became apparent that the era of the multi-purpose stadium was coming to an end. This led to the decision to build a new stadium for the Braves, which eventually resulted in the closure and demolition of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
As a multi-purpose stadium, the facilities at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium were designed to accommodate a variety of events. The stadium offered a wide range of concessions and was known for its easy accessibility and ample parking, making it a convenient venue for fans. It also featured basic amenities necessary for hosting both baseball and football games.
Despite its lack of luxury suites and other high-end features common in newer stadiums, the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium had a reputation for a great game-day atmosphere. Its simplicity and focus on the sporting event itself made it a favorite among traditional sports fans.
Memorable Moments at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
- First Game in 1966: Marking the arrival of the Braves in Atlanta.
- 1972 MLB All-Star Game: Showcasing the stadium to a national audience.
- Hank Aaron’s 715th Home Run: Breaking Babe Ruth’s long-standing record in 1974.
- 1991 Worst to First Season: Hosting the Braves’ incredible turnaround season.
- 1995 World Series: Hosting games during the Braves’ championship-winning series.
Interesting Baseball History at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
- The Launching Pad: Known for its tendency to favor hitters, leading to its nickname.
- Host of Several Playoff Series: Witnessed many dramatic playoff games, especially during the Braves’ run of division titles in the 1990s.
- End of an Era: The closing of the stadium marked the end of the multi-purpose stadium era in Atlanta.
- Record-Setting Moments: Home to several record-setting performances and historic baseball events.
In addition to baseball and football, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium hosted a variety of other events. These included concerts, religious gatherings, and other large-scale public events. The versatility of the stadium as a venue for large crowds made it a go-to location for major events in Atlanta during its operation. The stadium’s role in these events further cemented its status as a key part of the city’s cultural and social landscape.