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  • Plans for Atlanta Olympic Cauldron Up in the Air


    (ATR) Plans to preserve the Olympic Cauldron have yet to be disclosed as the site of the 1996 Olympic Stadium is about to undergo a massive redevelopment.

    The 1996 Olympic Cauldron on Capitol Avenue in Atlanta (ATR)
    Originally built as Centennial Olympic Stadium, since then known as Turner Field, home to the Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball team. The Braves will leave next year for a new stadium being built in suburban Cobb County, 10 miles north.

    Georgia State is faced with a decision on what to do with the cauldron that Muhammad Ali famously lit at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Games.

    Preliminary plans in the university proposal show developers could potentially erect a plaza near where the cauldron is located.

    The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority (AFCRA) currently maintains the cauldron.

    Keisha Lance Bottoms, executive director of AFCRA, tells Around the Rings specific plans for the cauldron will remain confidential for the time-being. The board hopes to finalize a letter of intent soon and have a final sales agreement within the next 30 days.

    "There is an incredible opportunity to have a meaningful and positive transformation of this area," Bottoms added in a statement to ATR.

    "The recreation authority's decision to move forward with the Carter/GSU Foundation/Oakwood development team has received overwhelming support throughout the city and county."

    In its request for proposal, AFCRA stressed the importance of preserving the legacy of the Atlanta Games in the redevelopment of Turner Field. (ATR)
    On Dec. 21, the AFCRA board announced Georgia State and real estate firm Carter would take over Turner Field in 2016. The university and Carter announced a proposal in 2014 for the site.

    "Georgia State is extremely pleased that this important next step has been taken in the redevelopment of the Turner Field site," Mark Becker, president of the university, said in a statement.

    "We understand and appreciate that this decision demonstrates the confidence AFCRA and the Mayor have in our ability to achieve our vision for the site."

    He added, "The Turner Field project will be transformational for the surrounding neighborhoods, the city and our university, and we embrace our responsibility to work closely with community and civic leaders in getting it done.

    "There is a great deal of work to be done, and we are fully prepared to move forward in concert with our partners at Carter and Oakwood."

    In a promotional video Becker promises that the history of the Olympics will be preserved in the redevelopment. The project is estimated to cost $300-million including student housing, retail, and the conversion of Turner Field into a football stadium.

    Written by Nicole Bennett

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