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Centennial Olympic Stadium

Centennial Olympic Stadium
Centennial Olympic Stadium.
Location United States
Operator Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games
Capacity 85,000
Surface Grass
Broke ground July 10, 1993
Opened May 18, 1996
Renovated 1996-97 (reconfigured as Turner Field)
Construction cost $ 207 million
Architect Heery International
Rosser International
Williams-Russell and Johnson
Ellerbe Becket
1996 Summer Olympics
1996 Summer Paralympics

Centennial Olympic Stadium was the 85,000-seat main Atlanta. Construction of the stadium began in 1993, and it was complete and ready for the Opening Ceremony in July 1996, where it hosted track and field events and the closing ceremony.[1][2] After the Olympics and Paralympics, it was reconstructed into the baseball-specific Turner Field.

During the week-long athletics program, the stadium bore witness to Donovan Bailey of Canada winning the 100 m in a world record time of 9.84 s; Michael Johnson winning both the 200 and 400 metres titles, breaking the 200 m world record in the process; and France's Marie-José Pérec also winning the 200/400 double. Meanwhile, Carl Lewis won his fourth consecutive Olympic title in the long jump, becoming only the second person, after Al Oerter, to win the same athletics event at four consecutive Games.

After the closing ceremony of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority owns Turner Field and the Atlanta Braves have leased the field through 2016.[4]

The southwest corner of the Olympic Stadium was built to accommodate the future baseball infield and seating. This is easily seen in aerial views and diagrams of the stadium in its Olympic configuration, where the seats are not placed next to the oval running track. The southwest part of the stadium also had four tiers of seats, luxury boxes, a facade facing the street, and a roof, whereas the north half of the stadium used a simpler two-tiered seating configuration. During reconstruction, the athletics track was removed and relocated to the field hockey stadium located at Clark Atlanta University, which uses it for athletics and football, and the north half of the stadium was demolished, reducing the capacity to 49,000. Because of the need to fit a track within the stadium in its earlier incarnation, the field of play, particularly foul territory, while not large by historical standards, is still larger than most new MLB stadiums.

Reconstruction was complete in 1997, and the facility was renamed Turner Field. Afterward, the 1960s-era Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, the Braves' previous home and the venue for the Olympics baseball events, was imploded.

The Atlanta Track Club's annual Father's Day four-mile (6.4 km) road race ends inside the stadium near the warning track where the finish line was located for the Olympics.


  1. ^ 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 542.
  2. ^ 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 3. p. 449.
  3. ^ Sandomir, Richard (1996-07-30). "At Close of Games, Braves Will Move Into Olympic Stadium". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Archived from the original on 2008-06-28. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  4. ^ Kendrick, Scott. "Turner Field". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 

External links

  • Interactive diagram at Clem's Baseball site showing both Olympic and Braves configurations
  • Aerial View of Olympic Stadium
  • Reconstruction into Baseball Stadium
  • 1996 Summer Games
Preceded by
Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc
Summer Olympics
Opening and Closing Ceremonies (Olympic Stadium)

Succeeded by
Stadium Australia
Preceded by
Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc
Olympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

Succeeded by
Stadium Australia

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