Atlanta Braves officials seem pretty comfortable with the idea of taking on almost all the financial risk for a new Cobb County ballpark — an amount in the hundreds of millions.
As a combo private development/ballpark, we’re talking about more than a half-billion dollars needed to finance construction and development: $300 million for the mixed-use development and upwards of $280 million for the ballpark. Also, the Braves are committed to continued maintenance on the ballpark, a number they expect to reach over $80 million over 30 years.
That same level of maintenance had reached $150 million in the 17 years since Turner Field opened, and the inability to reach a deal with Atlanta on who would pay for it was a sticking point for the team. Turner Field was originally built for the Olympics and then converted to a ballpark, with plenty of value engineering along the way. This is the unglamorous but necessary side of ballpark spending: concrete repairs, painting, HVAC systems and control components repairs, etc. The Braves are committed to this cost. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
But capital maintenance costs over 30 years in the team’s new Cobb County stadium should be no more than $80 million, Braves executives said Monday in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s editorial board. And team officials promised they would not ask for additional taxpayer help if those costs soar above the county’s $35 million commitment.
“We can’t,” said Mike Plant, the team’s executive vice president of business operations. “It’s capped. We know that going in. We understand the risk.
“We’re the ones taking the ultimate risk.”
The new ballpark is set to open for the 2017 season. Four construction bids have been received, and Populous has been awarded the design deal.
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