Cobb County to pay $300 million toward new Braves ballpark

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

MORE: Atlanta to demolish Turner Field

As noted not long ago in this very space, the Braves after the 2016 season will leave Turner Field for a new ballpark in nearby Cobb County. Now, the projected budget breakdown of said new ballpark -- i.e., the "memorandum of understanding" between county and team -- has been released. The upshot: Of the ballpark's projected total cost of $672 million, the Braves will pay $372 million. Cobb County, then, will contribue $300 million in public funding.

Some specifics, on a per-annum basis ...

At this point, I'm all but resigned to never seeing another team, you know, pay for its own place of business. Even when voters rightly vote down such funding referenda you occasionally see an end run around the democratic process in the holy name of corporate welfare, as was the case in Miami. In this instance, none of this is even being put to a vote.

It's also not unusual to see this kind of project propped up by tax hikes on rental cars and hotel rooms, which allows vested parties to trumpet that taxes aren't being raised on locals. Yet there's still an opportunity cost there. That means that rental car and hotel taxes won't be able to be raised to those levels in order to pay for something more essential than a ballpark for a private enterprise. As well, at a certain point, visitors begin to be turned off by exessive tax add-ons to those rental car and hotel bills and they opt to make other arrangements.

As well, the memorandum, which will be embedded at the bottom of this post, points out the purported economic benefits to the county, but, as has been the case with prior publicly funded ballparks, these benefits at best wildly overstated and at worst nonexistent.

The beat, though, goes on.

(Wink of CBS eye: Big League Stew)


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