SBD/November 27, 2013/Facilities

Cobb County Approves $300M In Funding For Braves' Proposed Ballpark

Braves officials are preparing requests for the accompanying mixed-use development
The Cobb County (Ga.) Board of Commissioners on Tuesday by a 4-1 vote "approved a memorandum of understanding" that will now finance $300M worth of construction on the Braves' new $672M, 41,500-seat ballpark, according to a front-page piece by Jon Gillooly of the MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL. Braves President John Schuerholz after the vote said, "This is a most significant and historic day for our franchise. This gold standard franchise has joined with a gold standard county as we plan our future together." Board of Commissioners member Lisa Cupid, who cast the sole dissenting vote, said that it "wasn’t that she opposed the Braves moving to Cobb County, but that she was being asked to make a decision much too quickly given the size and complexity of the deal." Commission Chair Tim Lee said that the next steps are to "meet in the first couple weeks of December to come up with an action plan, which includes putting into place the funding mechanisms to pay for the stadium, such as creating a special tax district in the Cumberland area." The Braves are "preparing to issue a request for proposals" to build their $400M mixed-use development that would accompany the ballpark. The Braves "will have to finalize the purchase of all 60 acres of the site they intend to build on from Bethesda, Md.-based B.F. Saul Co." (MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL, 11/27).

GEORGIA ON MY MIND: In Atlanta, Leslie & Tucker in a front-page piece report, "Fans and foes of the deal began crowding into the meeting hall hours before the 7 p.m. hearing was to begin, many sporting 'Cobb: Home of the Braves' T-shirts." The meeting "began promptly and onlookers who weren’t allowed into the packed room watched from beyond glass doors." Meanwhile, the team "plans to move quickly in hiring an architect and proceeding with design work." Dallas-based HKS Architects has been "consulting with the team on the project" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 11/27).
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