With only nine days to go before a final vote to approve committing $300+ million of Cobb County’s money on a new stadium for the same team that is currently abandoning a 20-year-old stadium, there is still no complete financial plan that has been presented to the public. Various officials have claimed that the plan is still being finalized, and yet they’ve exhibited not a bit of interest in simply delaying the vote to allow for more time to review and analyze the proposal.
In the meantime, this 1.5-page summary is all that has been provided to explain the details of a contractual agreement involving a third of a BILLION dollars. Many questions are left unanswered. For instance, while the Braves are purportedly responsible for cost overruns on the stadium, this plan involves the construction of a lot more than a stadium. Who is responsible for cost overruns on the related infrastructure that is to be built to accommodate this stadium? The answer is that WE DON’T KNOW.
Thus, for now, this short summary is all the public actually has in writing about the proposed 30-year, $300 BILLION financial agreement between Cobb County and the Atlanta Braves:
1. Overview. The Atlanta Braves, Cobb County and the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority will be executing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets forth their respective rights and obligations for development of the Atlanta Braves stadium in Cobb County.
2. Term. The term of the MOU is thirty years, commencing with the 2017 Atlanta Braves season. The Atlanta Braves will have the right to extend the term for an additional five years through the 2051 major league baseball season.
3. Stadium Project Budget. The total budget for the stadium is approximately $672,000,000. This includes stadium, parking and related infrastructure.
4. Allocation of Total Stadium Project Cost.
Atlanta Braves Contribution: $372,000,000 – 55%
The Atlanta Braves’ upfront commitment is up to $280,000,000 (minimum contribution of
The Atlanta Braves’ total contribution of $372,000,000 over the life of the stadium project consists of $280,000,000 paid by Opening Day 2017 and $92,000,000 (Net Present Value) being financed over the 30-year term of the stadium operating agreement, and paid via Atlanta Braves’ annual guaranteed revenues ($6,100,000 annually), as detailed below:
- Rent: $3,000,000
- Naming Rights Revenue: $1,500,000
- Parking Revenue: $1,500,000
- Marquee Advertising Revenue : $ 100,000
Local (Cobb County/Cumberland CID/Authority) Contribution: $300,000,000 – 45%
- $14,000,000 – The local commitment includes a transportation improvement contribution of approximately $14,000,000.
- $10,000,000 – The commitment of the Cumberland Community Improvement District includes a contribution of approximately $10,000,000.
- $276,000,000 – The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority will issue $368,000,000 of thirty (30) year revenue bonds of which the Atlanta Braves’ annual financial commitments will cover.
- $92,000,000 of the bond issuance. Annual payments on the remaining $276,000,000 will be paid from the following sources (projected totals):
- Existing Hotel/Motel Tax – (Cobb County Portion): $940,000
- Reallocation of existing Property Tax Revenues (no increase in property tax millage rate for Cobb County homeowners): $8,670,000
- New three percent Rental Car Tax: $400,000 (to be approved by County)
- New Cumberland Special Service District Tax: $5,150,000 (Consists of approximately three mills property tax increase in approximately the footprint of the Cumberland CID. This equals about $120 annually on $100,000 market value property.)
- New Cumberland Special Service District Hotel Circulator Fee: $2,740,000 ($3 per room per night charge for hotels and motels in district footprint)
5. Stadium Design and Construction. The Atlanta Braves organization will serve as the design and construction manager for the project. The Atlanta Braves will be responsible for any cost overruns.
6. Operation and Management of Stadium. Except for the County’s right to conduct a limited number of special events, the Atlanta Braves have exclusive rights to use and operate the Stadium and permit third parties to do the same.
7. Stadium Revenues. Except for the County’s share of naming rights revenues, parking revenues and marquee advertising revenues, the Atlanta Braves will retain all revenues associated with the Stadium.
8. Stadium Expenses. The Atlanta Braves are responsible for all operating expenses of the Stadium. The Atlanta Braves and the County will be jointly responsible for all capital maintenance expenses of the Stadium.
9. Additional Agreements. The MOU also sets forth that the parties will execute more definitive agreements in connection with the Stadium Project including a Stadium Operating Agreement, Development Agreement, NonRelocation Agreement, Transportation and Infrastructure Agreement and any other agreements that the Parties deem necessary.