SBD/August 18, 2014/Facilities

Documents Detail What Braves Originally Sought From Cobb County For New Ballpark

Braves execs said they will not ask for additional funding for parking
The Braves' initial draft of a memorandum of understanding agreement with Cobb County (Ga.) for a new ballpark sought $442M from the public for "project construction; revenue from mass transit stopping at the stadium site; tax dollars to move roads and build bridges; and a promise that the county would use its powers of eminent domain to help the team acquire land, if necessary," according to documents cited by Dan Klepal of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Those demands, and "more, are contained in about 30 versions of the preliminary agreement that was negotiated between August and November last year." The documents "are significant because they show aspects of the deal in which the county pushed back against the Braves, along with areas of general agreement." As the two sides began editing drafts of the MOU agreement on Oct. 21, a note "was added after a county negotiator’s edit: 'Think (we’ll) get about $50 million from governor.'" The Braves all along have said that they "might increase" the project’s $622M budget by $50M to pay for additional parking. They have said that this decision "will be made at the team’s discretion, but have never mentioned that additional public money might be involved." The team on Friday issued a statement, which said that execs "will not ask the state for funding 'to support parking needs on the site.'" The statement: "Our $50 million in discretionary spending on the stadium will depend on parking and transportation needs. Those are still being assessed" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/17).

NEW LAWSUIT: In Georgia, Ricky Leroux noted Fairly Breeze LLC, which owns property near the proposed site for the Braves' new ballpark, last Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Cobb Superior Court, claiming that the county government "violated zoning procedures and abused its powers to rezone a property." The suit alleges that the rezoning application for the property "was 'purely speculative' and 'had none of the normal specificity required by the Zoning Ordinance,' and as a result, the general public was denied its due process rights because it did not have complete information." The complaint shows that the plaintiff "wants the zoning decision allowing the stadium and development to be invalidated; it also wants all court costs to be paid by the defendants" (MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL, 8/16).
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