Braves’ New Stadium Deal APPROVED


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Tonight, according to multiple media reports, the Cobb County Commision vot4ed 4-1 to approve the new stadium deal to move the Atlanta Braves twelve miles north from Fulton County and into Cobb.

Thus the new stadium plan is a ‘Go’!

Quotes and Reactions:

 

From the ESPN/Associated Press Story:

  • “The Cobb County Commission voted 4-1 to enter into a memorandum of understanding [MOU] with the baseball team following more than an hour of public comment both for and against the deal, which will require millions of dollars in public funds. Under the plan, the new stadium would open in 2017.”
  • “Mike Plant, the Braves executive vice president of business operations, said the deal couldn’t wait any longer if the stadium and entertainment complex are to be completed in time for the 2017 season.”

 

braves3.0_standard_709.0[1]The County Commission was obviously won over by the comprehensive plan presented by the Braves’ front office.  There was nonetheless one ‘no’ vote – that from commissioner Lisa Cupid, whose quotes seemed to indicate not so much an opposition to the plan, but a hesitation regarding the (admittedly) breathtaking speed in which all of this has been taking place.  Opponents attending the meeting seemed to echo this – not being pleased about the lack of detailed information available to the general public – a public now effectively committed to funding a minimum of $300 million for the project.  The AP story mentions that there will apparently be additional funds shared between the County and the team for maintenance cost and the inevitable capital improvements over the 30 year MOU and subsequent lease agreement.  The estimated amount involved for this portion of the project has remained undisclosed (and frankly, is likely unknown at this point, being a future cost for updates yet to be identified).

Liberty Media, parent corporation of the Atlanta National League Baseball Club Inc., is now on the hook for the first $280 million to get the project underway.  $92 million more will be covered via debt assigned by the County (something like the County borrows the money and the Braves sign the paperwork for it).  The Braves are also responsible for any/all cost overruns, though with one nice caveat:  if it comes in under budget, then the Braves can pocket the savings.  In this writer’s opinion, that’s a reasonable trade for assuming all of the risk.

Next stop:  2017′s Opening Day.  They are now off and running.

 

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Cobb County Stadium

  • fireboss

    Interesting that Liberty Media is investing $280M up front indicating they are 1) not selling 2) paying attention to the business side of the Braves – the only side they are allowed to intervene in 3) willing to bet on the fans coming to the area even though Atlanta is slammed regularly for lethargic fandom.
    I like the concept and hope to be there opening day

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      ..(comment system is acting up this morning)..

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      You make an excellent point: this is not the move of a passive ownership group. This is all about investing in increasing the value of the team and future profitability. Clearly.

      • Matthew Jones

        Agreed with both of you. It’ll be interesting if Liberty Media decides to invest heavily in the Braves, even to the point of allowing the team to spend more money on salaries. Good thing to watch, to say the least.

        • fireboss

          I’d suggest that as the stadium prepares to open an investment in product to draw new customers is appropriate. I’m interested to know what parts of Liberty Media will have related locations in the complex

        • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

          I wouldn’t mind LM investing more, but I for one like their hands off approach in other ways. They are often ridiculed for not ponying up more money at times, but their hands-off approach to management (a necessity actually as Fred pointed out) is a breath of fresh air in a climate where all-too-often, owners like to micro-manage a touch too much.

  • Matthew Jones

    Total random point to make about the drawing of the new stadium. There’s been some chatter about ‘why didn’t they go for a retractable roof?’ around the internets. What I just realized is that for the most part, if these drawings come to fruition in some way for the fans, most of the seats will be in the shade come game time. More or less, from home plate to CF is somewhat eastern faced. This means that the CF’er will have a heckuva time dealing with the sun until the sun goes down. However, with the awning (or roof as the case may be), it’ll be nice to be the stands between 1st and 3rd. OF seats will deal with have full sun likely all the time, though.

    Granted, I know that these are extremely preliminary drawings, but I would have to guess that no matter what shape the stadium takes, it’ll sit nearly exactly where this drawing has it.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      Yeah in one of my first reviews of the renderings, I mentioned the huge panels for shading, and the fact that the great majority of seats are on the infield. They seemed to have thought the heat issue through, and probably touched a good deal on spring rains in their plans. Me likey.