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Braves Expected To Pay 55% Of $672M Cobb County Ballpark
Published November 14, 2013
BEHIND THE SCENES: Braves Exec VP/Sales & Marketing Derek Schiller said that PSLs "will not be part of the plan for financing the cost of the stadium." Schiller also said that the Braves "have started background work for selling naming rights to the stadium." He said the team received a report "just over the past couple of days that helps us understand what the valuation is," but would not disclose the projected value of the naming rights. Braves Exec VP/Business Operations Mike Plant added that the "statues and commemorative bricks at Turner Field will be relocated" to the new ballpark. In Atlanta, Tim Tucker notes Plant and Braves General Counsel Greg Heller "reaffirmed the team's commitment to moving to Cobb County" after yesterday's meeting with Deal and Reed. Schiller said the Braves have "by and large" gotten positive feedback from season-ticket holders about the move, but he acknowledged some negative responses too. Meanwhile, Plant said that team officials "'visited the Doraville site a couple of times,' ... referring to the site of the former General Motors plant, before focusing on Cobb County" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 11/14).
IT MAKES CENTS TO ME: In Atlanta, David O'Brien wrote, "I don't like the idea of reverting to the 1970s-era way of thinking, of moving a team from the city to the ‘burbs, when almost every major sports team that’s moved within a city since then has stayed in the same area or moved closer to its city center. ... I don't like it, but I understand it." For a team that is "tied up in a terrible TV contract that runs for about 13 more years, when other MLB teams are signing new TV deals worth exponentially more millions of dollars annually, the Braves feel the need to boost revenues wherever they can. This is where they can." But if the Braves are moving from "a nice place with a ginormous hi-def videoboard, a view (at least from the upper deck) of the skyline and the golden dome of the State Capitol, across the street from the commemorated site of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, well, by God, you better make the new place special" (AJC.com, 11/13). Braves GM Frank Wren said of the move's impact on the on personnel decisions, "I don't think that has anything to do with what we're doing this season. I think it will start to in the next couple of years. I don't think it will have big implications currently" (MLB.com, 11/13).
WORKIN' ON THE RAILROAD? Lee said that Reed, who "claims the Braves' move to Cobb County means Cobb would need to have light-rail in place, is wrong." Lee: "We're not going to use that, we're going to use bus rapid transit, if we do, it will be BRT." State Rep. Earl Ehrhart added that despite Atlanta officials' "desire to see a MARTA rail line extend into Cobb, it's not going to happen" (MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL, 11/14).