Cobb County to Fund 45% of Atlanta Braves’ New Baseball Stadium

Residents of Cobb County, Georgia, will fund $300 million, or 45 percent, of a new $672 million stadium for Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves, county officials said.

The Cobb County Commission said today in a statement on its website that financing won’t rely on increased property-tax revenue.

The majority of the contribution will be covered by a portion of a $368 million revenue-bond sale by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which will own the stadium.

The Braves will cover $92 million of the debt over the length of a 30-year lease, the county said. The remainder will be covered through existing property tax revenue; taxes and fees on hotels and businesses; and a rental-car levy that has yet to be approved.

“By taking on more than 90 percent of the upfront costs of the stadium, we are minimizing the amount that has to be bonded by Cobb County,” Mike Plant, the team’s vice president of business operations, said in a statement.

The Braves, who announced on Nov. 11 plans to leave downtown Atlanta’s Turner Field after the 2016 season, will contribute $372 million to the project, Cobb County said in a release on its website today.

The Braves will pay $280 million by opening day of the 2017 season. Braves President John Schuerholz said the team also plans to sell corporate naming rights to the stadium to offset financing costs.

Cozier Confines

The Braves decided to build a stadium 13 miles (21 kilometers) northwest of downtown Atlanta with their lease at 17-year-old Turner Field expiring in 2016. The new venue will have a capacity of about 42,000 people, compared with 50,000 at Turner Field, according to the team.

Turner Field, which was built for the 1996 Olympics and became the Braves’ home the following year, has cost the team about $125 million in improvements, and it needs about $150 million more, as well as an additional 5,000 parking spots, the team said this week.

The stadium would open the same year as a $1 billion facility for the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons is scheduled to open downtown.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net; Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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