How the Atlanta Braves’ Proposed Stadium Deal Could Screw Their New Home

Cobb County, Georgia, has an $86.4 million school budget deficit but reportedly will pony up hundreds of millions in public stadium financing.

Photoillustration by Matt Connolly

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Update (11/14/13): Cobb County announced this morning that it will be contributing $300 million—not $450 million, as was originally reported—to the new stadium plan. This post has been updated to reflect the new figures.

Baseball’s Atlanta Braves are planning to move to suburban Cobb County, Georgia, leaving behind their within-city-limits home of 17 years. “The issue isn’t the Turner Field we play in today, but instead whether or not the venue can remain viable for another 20 to 30 years,” the team wrote on a website explaining the move, essentially conceding that the current stadium is fine—but that it might not be in 30 years.

Although the price has not yet been finalized, reports claim the new stadium will cost $672 million, with $300 million coming from Cobb County (motto: “Low on taxes, big on business“). This is the same Cobb County that faced an $86.4 million school budget shortfall this year, forcing employees to take furloughs. While local officials are hoping a new stadium will eventually pay for itself in local economic impact, such claims are often exaggerated. And a look at some recent stadium boondoggles should be enough to give any municipality—or taxpayer—pause.

Here’s what $300 million in stadium subsidies could mean to folks in Cobb County:

 

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate