Sports

Breaking a half-century of precedent, the Atlanta Braves announced on Tuesday that they would move out of their host city and into a northern suburb of Atlanta after the lease for Turner Field expires in 2016.

The move illustrates a long-building shift in Major League Baseball’s fan base, which has become more suburban and rural in recent years as the sport struggled to attract fans and younger players from the inner city.

Despite that well-known trend, none of the seven new Major League Baseball stadiums that have been built more than a fifth of a mile from their predecessors since 2000 has moved away from a city center, and four (Marlins, Giants, Padres and Astros) have actually moved more than 4 miles closer.

The Braves’ motivation to move in a new direction is no mystery: most of its ticket holders live north of the city, and Cobb County is putting…

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