The Braves' New Stadium
Early Monday morning, the Atlanta Braves announced their plans to move to a new stadium in Cobb County, a project that the team predicts will cost $672 million. In a statement, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said that it was his "understanding" that Cobb County offered $450 million in support to the Braves, and that the city was "simply unwilling to match that with taxpayer dollars." Braves executive Derek Schiller said that the team will be a "significant investor" in the project, but did not disclose specifics. One-third of the cost may or may not be "significant" in this instance, but either way, $450 million is a pretty hefty tab to be asking taxpayers to pick up.
Atlanta fans may be displeased about the move, but passing on the stadium was a sound move by their mayor. In a piece I penned a few months ago, I explained why Los Angeles lucked out economically when their new stadium deal began to fall apart -- and that was with a stadium that was supposed to be privately financed. Perhaps Atlanta will be stricken with the same good fortune as the City of Angels.
What's surprising is that the $672 million project isn't even the largest stadium proposal to pop up in the state within the last year. The NFL's Atlanta Falcons have announced a plan to open a new $1.2 billion dollar stadium by 2017, but at least this Atlanta stadium will be paid for by the team, the NFL, and personal seat licenses, which will keep taxpayers out of the equation.
Joseph Fleming is a RealClearPolicy intern.