As a cost savings measure, Gwinnett County is considering whether to issue new bonds on Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves (Class AAA; International League).
This is a preliminary decision at this point, but the county is going to at least explore the idea of issuing new bonds, with the intention being to obtain a lower interest rate. That would help to pay off the original bonds that were issued for the project in 2008.
Currently Gwinnett County is seeking to obtain an interest rate of no more than 5.25%, down from the current 6.25%. The hope is to create a significant cost savings. More from the Gwinnett Daily Post:
“It’s like refinancing a mortgage, essentially,” Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said. “It’s just a little more complicated in terms of the actions we actually have to take and the documents that are involved.”
The county could possibly save between $3.6 million and $6.1 million, depending on market conditions, in interest payments over the remaining life of the bonds (which go through 2038), according to Chief Financial Officer Maria Woods. That’s because the county is looking to cut the interest rates it has to pay on the stadium bonds from 6.25 percent to no more than 5.25 percent.
The Board of Commissioners’ decision on Tuesday doesn’t necessarily mean the county is about to issue new bonds on the stadium though. Woods said there are some conditions that have to exist before the county proceeds with issuing the new bonds.
“Today, they just set up the rules basically,” she said. “Then, in January, we would go to market to determine, you know, ‘Are we within those rules?’ What we’re looking at is a significant savings.”
Coolray Field opened for the Braves in 2009.