Turner Field has been an icon to the city of Atlanta for years and the surrounding area is home to many Atlanta natives. After Georgia State University’s purchase in late 2016 of Turner Field Stadium, renovation plans have been announced on behalf of the university. The school has plans to build a new football stadium as well as student housing and retail shops in the surrounding areas.
The Turner Field community has come together and developed an organization they refer to as the “Turner Field Benefits Coalition.” Their goal is to be able to contribute at meetings between the university and city hall so that the outcome of the redevelopment of the area does not force anyone out of their homes without some sort of compensation. In order for the coalition to gain this access, a Community Benefits Agreement must be signed by the university to ensure that they have a say in the development of the area. Georgia State University President Mark Becker has yet to sign a CBA.
If you find yourself walking through Georgia State University’s campus or passing by Atlanta City Hall, you may have heard the impassioned chanting of a group that eagerly wants to save a community in danger. They are often found carrying large signs that read “NO CBA, NO DEAL!” Members of the Turner Field Benefits Coalition have taken to both of these highly-populated areas hoping to garner more support for their cause- preventing the destruction of the neighborhoods and homes surrounding Turner Field.
Cherise Brown has lived within the Turner Field community for 25 years and participates at almost every protest and meeting that the coalition attends. She speaks on behalf of the coalition in effort to have their voice heard. She carries a copy of the Turner Field sale agreement and often times refers to it during her speeches for emphasis. The sale agreement does not include anything that benefits the surrounding community of Turner Field. The sale solely benefits Georgia State University.