Say "NO!" to Public Funding of the Atlanta Braves' New Stadium

The Atlanta Braves want to spend over $300 million in taxpayer dollars on their new stadium in Cobb County, and county commissioners are willing to give it to them! Help take a stand against corporate welfare and the spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars on gifts for special interests.

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Say "NO!" to Corporate Welfare

The Atlanta Braves are valued at over $600 million dollars. They took in over $200 million last year alone. More than half of the players on the Braves team have annual salaries of $1 million or more. Meanwhile, Cobb County had a budget deficit of over $86 million last year alone.

And yet what does Cobb County stand to get in return for paying for half of the Braves stadium? In return for its investment, the Braves stand to get 100% of the ticket revenue, 100% of the parking revenue, 100% of the concessions revenue, and 100% of the naming revenue. Whereas the citizens of Cobb County stand to get, well, screwed.

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Say "NO!" to Prioritizing Pro Sports over Education and Other County Obligations

Just five months ago, an $86 million budget deficit forced Cobb County to lose 182 teachers and to force mandatory furlough days on the rest. It was a tough decision, but the money simply wasn't there.

And yet, the Cobb County Board of Commission seems to have discovered $300 million in its couch cushions which it wants to pretend needs to be spent on a baseball playground. Do they think that the public has forgotten about opportunity costs and the fungibility of the dollar?

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Say "NO!" to Secret Agreements and Non-Transparency

Discussions between Braves representatives and Cobb County officials began in the summer of 2013, but the public wasn't told a single thing until November 2013. In the meantime, Cobb County's elected officials made huge financial promises to the Braves, in the complete absence of any input or consent from their constituents.

Such conduct is a violation of the public trust, and should be condemned as such. What other promises might have been made, what palms were greased, and how might Cobb officials have been persuaded to spend a third-of-a-billion of the public's money without first asking the public they ostensibly represent?

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Say "NO!" to Irresponsibly Speedy Decision-Making

Even if one believes that public funding of the Braves' new stadium is the right thing to do, and even if one believes that the dollar amount and the contract terms are fair, there is still NO reason to push through a final, binding vote on this plan just 15 days after it was first disclosed to the public. Even Cobb County officials admit that the specific details of the financial agreement aren't finalized. How can the commissioners cast an informed and rational vote in the absence of such critical information?

The answer: THEY CAN'T. So why make a final decision on November 26, instead of pushing back the vote until the December or January meeting? Remember, this is a stadium that's intended to open in 2017; a delay of two months won't affect it in the slightest.