Note: This was one of the fastest-moving, longest-lived, most controversial stories I had the pleasure of covering during my time at Patch. Most of the Georgia team was shifted on to this story, as it was a huge statewide story. If anyone saw new updates on this, they were encouraged to tack on an update to the original story. Everyone on the team contributed, so I can’t take full credit for this one.
I remember going to a Veteran’s Day commemoration after posting the first part of this story, and the news had spread like wildfire. It was a momentous occasion, and one that I spent a large part of my Patch career following for my readers. You can tell by the number and frequency of updates how fast this story developed!
ORIGINAL STORY (9:12 a.m.): The Atlanta Braves will be celebrating Opening Day 2017 in a new facility in Cobb County.
According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the Braves are expected to announce Monday that they are planning to leave Turner Field, their home since 1996, and relocate to a site near the intersection of interstates 75 and 285.
The MDJ reports that the team is set to close on the contract for the new site early next year.
Please stay with Patch as more information becomes available.
WSB-TV says the stadium will be built on the 60 acre plot of land at Circle 75 and Interstate 285 across from the Boy Scouts of America headquarters at 1800 Circle 75 Pkwy.
UPDATE (9:41 a.m.): The Braves have posted a video message featuring President John Schuerholz talking about the Cobb County relocation. Watch his message here.
UPDATE (12:52 p.m.): More official comment from the Braveson their new website touting the move to Cobb:
This project will be a true public-private partnership. The economic benefits from the new stadium will ripple throughout the region. From the construction process, which will support more than 5,227 jobs and generate $235 million in payroll, to the ongoing benefits the new stadium will be an economic engine for Metro Atlanta.
The details about the financing — and specifically Cobb County government’s involvement — have yet to be revealed.
The AJC‘s Jim Galloway blogged that Cobb will put up $450 million of the estimated $672 milion cost for the stadium, with $200 million coming from the Braves.
There has been no official word yet from Cobb officials.
UPDATE (1:07 p.m.): Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has made an official statement on the Braves leaving the city:
“It is my understanding that our neighbor, Cobb County, made a strong offer of $450M in public support to the Braves and we are simply unwilling to match that with taxpayer dollars. Given the needs facing our city and the impact of Turner Field stadium on surrounding neighborhoods, that was something I, and many others were unwilling to do.”
UPDATE (1:40 p.m): More from the AJC about a memorandum of understanding between Cobb County and the Braves about the financing deal, and a Nov. 26 presentation before the Cobb Board of Commissioners, which must approve:
“Commission-level approval tells you something very important: No countywide referendum is involved, which means no new tax would be levied. So an existing tax would have to be increased — but one that does not raise taxes for voters going into an election year.”
Cobb County spokesman Robert Quigley has sent out the following statement from Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee:
“The Atlanta Braves are a great organization and will be a welcome addition to Cobb County. Our focus is on finalizing an agreement that will bring jobs and economic growth to the area while enhancing the experience of sports fans from across metro Atlanta.
“Atlanta has evolved over the years into a broader community that offers so much for so many. Cobb County is proud to be a part of the region’s continued success.”
Quigley told Patch that the memorandum of understanding is still being worked out with the Braves, so there are no more details of the financing being made public now.