Atlanta Games chief reacts to Braves’ move

On a Colorado getaway, Billy Payne got word later in the day Monday about the imminent desertion of Turner Field, the house built upon the bones of his Olympic dream.

He did not allow the news to spoil his trip one bit.

“I never measured the success of the Olympics by the venues left behind,” said the man who conceived the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The stadium that served as the hub of those Games was reconfigured into Turner Field, a new home for the Braves, the following year.

“The most important venue and the one that most represents the spirit of the Games is Centennial Olympic Park. Beyond that, I never thought about any legacy value (in the buildings from Atlanta’s 1996 Olympics) because that’s not why I did it,” Payne said.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea where his sentiments lie, he added, “Bricks and mortar are not that important.”