There is much to be said about the Atlanta Braves’ announcement that by the 2017 season the esteemed National League baseball franchise will have moved to a new stadium. The team is ditching its old digs, Turner Field, which will be a very young 20 years old when the new one opens. New host Cobb County will reportedly put up $450 million—more than two-thirds the necessary funding. Is Cobb County more white and more wealthy than Turner Field’s Fulton County? Take a guess.
But buried at the bottom of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report Monday morning was this tantalizing kicker: “Could it be a chance also to rebrand the Braves’ image? The scuttlebutt among some politicos is that the team may also look to change their logo amid the move.”
Monday afternoon, a Braves spokesperson told me, “The new ballpark will still have an Atlanta address, therefore we will remain the Atlanta Braves and will continue to use our logo.” Well okay then.
It’s worth noting that “politicos” are not necessarily the likeliest constituency to push for change. Just last month, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed defended the team name, citing his many “Indian” friends (seriously).
Virtually every college team with Native American-themed names ditched all such trappings except for their names following an NCAA ruling several years ago. Were the Braves to retain their name but get rid of, say, the tomahawk in their primary logo, it would be a step in the right direction.
The hold music when you call the Atlanta Braves is a crowd performing the team’s trademark “war chant.”