Cobb County’s agreement with the Atlanta Braves to build a new stadium in the Cumberland Mall area leaves a lot of issues to be resolved in future negotiations.
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INSIDE THE DEAL
The Memorandum of Understanding between the Braves and Cobb County, released late Tuesday, includes these points:
- The Braves have “determined that it is in the best interests of the team and its fans to relocate to a site that will provide greater access to its regional fan base,” and that the move “is important to providing the team with the opportunity for long-term economic and competitive viability.”
- The parties expect a total stadium budget “not to exceed” $672 million, with the county ultimately responsible for $300 million and the Braves for up to $372 million. Of the Braves’ $372 million, however, $92 million will be from additional bonds to be issued by the county and repaid from $6.1 million annual payments by the Braves to the county.
- The Braves will have “sole and absolute discretion” to cut the project budget by up to $50 million, which would reduce the team’s contribution but not the county’s.
- The Braves will hire the architect, subject to the county’s approval.
- The Braves will retain all revenue from the stadium (except for the $6.1 million annual payment to repay part of the team’s commitment toward construction) and will be responsible for routine maintenance and operating expenses.
- The team and county will make equal annual contributions into a fund for capital maintenance and repairs, but the agreement does not specify a dollar amount for those contributions or the source of the county’s portion.
- The county will have the right to conduct up to three special events per year in the stadium, with the net revenue from those events to be used toward debt service.
- The Memorandum of Understanding “is not intended as a complete and final agreement.”
— Tim Tucker