LOCAL MEDIA AGENDA HARD TO DISGUISE

Media members and their agendas are sometimes very easy to recognize, but enough about politics. The sports world has gotten very politically slanted when it comes to coverage of the Braves Suntrust Park and the surrounding Battery development. I’m going to take the time to point out the media coverage that has clearly hoped to reinforce a slanted message.

On Friday, March 31st the Braves had their dry run at Suntrust Park. The night was by all accounts a resounding success. It’s important to point out that a crowd of roughly 25,000 is not the same as 41,000 on a sold out game. What was clear was that the fans loved the new stadium and enjoyed the options to congregate and party before and after the game. That didn’t stop some media from lamenting a variety of issues.

I read a column about how one writer had a long commute to the park in its new location. Inside the piece we’re honest admissions that he once lived closer to Turner Field and how that was a “perfectly fine” stadium. These are the opinions of one media member just as I offer mine, but a few facts were left out. For one, Turner Field was inadequate as a revenue generator for the organization. Capitalism is clearly under seize in this country by many, but the Braves are a business. They are supposed to generate revenue and then reinvest in their product. This new stadium and complex will allow the Braves to generate income 12 months a year as an entertainment product and landlord to businesses.

If your commute to the stadium is more difficult, that is a personal issue. Fact is, the vast majority of Braves season ticket holders and single game buyers are now closer to the stadium. It may not be good for a writer, but it’s better for others. That’s not a negative story.

The local news channels were waiting to do the Traffic disaster storyline, especially after the bridge collapse the day before. That story was being hyped on all news radio as well as every TV outlet. Once again, they could hardly hide their disappointment as traffic flowed smoothly into the area. If Opening Day on April 14th is 75% as smooth they will be lighting cigars in the Braves offices. I had fans come up to me in the Battery after they had been approached by local reporters. They were asked how their commute was? When they said they had no issues they were not interviewed on camera. Again, agenda driven reporting trying to fit a narrative.

Here are the facts. Nobody but a complete contrarian could experience the surrounding businesses and Suntrust Park and then make an argument that Turner Field was completely inferior. Atlanta fans now have a congregation point to add to the game day experience. I won’t even get into the fact that you went from one of the highest crime areas to a safer and more controlled environment.

A recent study showed just 4% of the sports media voted for Trump. I wasn’t one of that 4% by the way. The city leaders who let the team get away have their friends in the print media pushing their negative stories. They do this while the currently 600M over budget Mercedes Benz Stadium has yet another major delay and not nearly a portion of the critical press. I wonder why?

The move from the city to the outskirts of Atlanta was widely criticized. The opponents acted as if Turner Field was a showplace and that fans loved it. The numbers say otherwise. We will see this story play out for years to come. Despite the agenda of the critics, Suntrust Park and the Battery have a chance to thrive. Whatever they do, it is a huge step up from Turner Field and neighborhood city leaders ignored for over 50 years.

I welcome your comments johnkincade@680thefan.com

– John Kincade
Co-Host “Buck and Kincade” – 680 The Fan
Host “John Kincade Show” – CBS Sports Radio
Co-Host “BIG Podcast with Shaq” – Podcast One
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