Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Atlanta Braves' Move to Cobb Co. - Everything That's Wrong with Taxpayer-Subsidized Stadiums

How many ways could taxpayers get screwed with the Braves' new stadium? 

Oh, let us count the ways:
  1. Metro-Atlanta taxpayers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars replacing a stadium that didn't need replacing.
  2. The deal was done secretly, without giving taxpayers a say in how hundreds of millions of their tax dollars are spent.
  3. The public's responsibility on the project seems to keep growing, with nobody having any real idea of how much it will ultimately cost.  The price is now up to $350 million or $400 million, depending how you count...and it may still be growing.
  4. The team is moving baseball out of urban core - which just a couple years ago, everyone seemed to think was a new MLB prerequisite - into a suburb with transportation issues of its own.
  5. Just as the city paid off its Turner Field mortgage after decades of investment, its equity in the building is about to plummet to zero.  What's the value in an empty stadium?
  6. Think Cobb Co. could incentivize and stimulate a few small or high-tech businesses with $350 million?  Instead, they'll spend that money on a bunch of retail businesses that basically cannibalize sales and (low-paying) jobs from other parts of Metro-Atlanta.
But other than that, Cobb. Co. residents are getting a great deal from the looks of it!  So much so that Tampa's biggest stadium cheerleader already has declared himself a fan of how the deal went down.

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  1. A poll of Cobb County voters by UF showed that had this come up for a vote it would have passed. Pretty much every level of government in the United States wastes taxpayer money. The Feds wasted over $500 million Solyndra alone. The silver lining for Cobb County taxpayers is that at least get some utility out of the new ballpark.

    It's encouraging that people are waking up to the stadium ripoff. Hopefully people wise up about the rest of government as well.

  2. Tampa's biggest stadium cheerleader - Ken Hagan - probably already knows that Hillsborough County population is 80% greater than that of Cobb County. So if Cobb County can spend $400 million, then Hillsborough County can spend $720 million.

    1. That's not true, Scott. It's only about 50% bigger.

    2. I think the point's been made....

  3. The pedestrian bridge fiasco that ties into the new Cobb County stadium is entertaining enough on it's own.

  4. So this proposal is almost certain to get shot down. What incentive do the Rays have for another defeated proposal?