As we inch closer toward the 2017 baseball season, the new home of the Braves -- SunTrust Park -- gets closer to becoming their full-time venue. Here's a current look:
That park is costing residents of Cobb County a pretty penny. By way of reminder, the park is funded by nearly $400 million of taxpayer money despite the constituents never having gotten a say in the matter.
Now, the Braves want another $14 million. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the full details, but here's a quick snapshot:
The dispute has been on-going since December, with origins that date to the earliest agreements forged by the county and team in 2013 and 2014. Those contracts require that $14 million in public funds be spent on transportation improvements, and are vague as to the exact projects covered by the money.
Cobb transportation director Jim Wilgus wrote in a Dec. 2 memo to County Manager David Hankerson that taxpayers have already spent $69.5 million on nine road projects for the stadium and privately owned, mixed-use development.
So on one side, the county says it has already met all contractual obligations while the Braves believe that this $14 million they need were already included in the original deal and haven't yet been given to the Braves.
The AJC article has the full story with tons of specifics, so please hop over if interested. It includes a list of things the Braves are having the taxpayers pick up.
The Braves were valued at over $1 billion two years ago, the 12th-ranked MLB team in terms of net worth (according to ajc.com). Maybe they should be paying for their own house? Of course, the Cobb County government didn't have to approve of the funding. Now its citizens might end up being responsible for even more tax-funding.