When the Atlanta Braves announced they were building a new stadium in Cobb, we knew it would be a home run for local residents and businesses. The truth is, with each passing day, this project seems more like a grand slam.
New renderings released in the last two weeks show not only a beautiful stadium, but an incredible entertainment venue that will be full of restaurants, bar and shops, giving fans a reason to arrive long before the first pitch and stick around after the final out. It will even attract visitors on days when the Braves aren’t playing, creating a place where people can shop and play throughout the year.
It’s sad that some have used a mix of misinformation and misstatements to paint this stadium as a bad deal for the county. The Atlanta media, which haven’t liked this project from the outset, continue to print inaccurate information which has been debunked time and time again.
For instance, there are some who have said the Braves won’t build the mixed-use portion of the project. They ignore the fact the team has already closed on the property, applied to rezone it and hired consultants to plan it. These don’t sound like actions of an organization planning to do nothing.
Likewise, there are allegations that Cobb residents will see their taxes go up to pay for the stadium, but that’s simply not true. Cobb will use existing tax money to cover some of the bond financing, and no additional tax revenue is going toward the mixed-use development. All of the additional financing will either come from businesses in the Cumberland District, which will directly benefit from the stadium, or from new visitors to our community that stay in hotels or rent cars.
In fact, the new tax revenue from the stadium and entertainment district will actually be higher than the amount of money our homeowners have to pay each year. In 2018, the money generated by state and property taxes will be almost $13 million, with millions set to go to help our schools. That’s what we call a return on investment, and it’s going to be a huge help for Cobb.
In addition, an independent traffic study shows existing roads and infrastructure, as well as the $1 billion in traffic improvements already in the pipeline, will improve traffic flow. When combined with the businesses, hotels and residences in walking distance of the stadium, it becomes clear traffic will not be nearly as bad as some folks want to believe it will be.
There has been a ton of energy surrounding the Braves’ move to Cobb. Last week, nearly 100 people turned out at the site of the new stadium to show leaders this community supports the Braves. Who wouldn’t be excited to be the “Home of the Braves?”
There are some people who are just unhappy about everything, but the truth is Cobb overwhelmingly supports the Braves and this new stadium because it is a monumental win for the county. Our community will benefit financially while becoming the home of America’s Team.
Tonight, this support will be on display when the Board of Commissioners unanimously approves the bond financing for the project.