The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published an article about Mayor Kasim Reed addressing the media about the Braves announcing their plans to move to Cobb County in 2017.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution states, “Still, he said, the city has been planning a replacement for the stadium for months, and he promises a major announcement in the next few months that he vows will validate his decision.”
If Reed has been trying to find a replacement for the Braves for the past couple of months and is in line of announcing new plans, there had to be a period of negotiations with the Braves and the city of Atlanta, coincidentally, during the same exact time when the city of Atlanta was negotiating to keep the Falcons in the downtown area.
The article goes on to state that, “Reed said the Braves asked for between $150 million and $250 million for infrastructure improvements for the team to remain downtown. He said that would have left the city “absolutely cash-strapped” and unable to chip away at a nearly $1 billion infrastructure backlog.”
But the city of Atlanta is providing the Atlanta Braves $200mm or more out of hotel taxes to help build a brand new $1.20 billion stadium along Northside Drive. Why couldn’t the city of Atlanta negotiate with the teams and provide half of that $200mm to both teams, $100mm to each one?
If it is true that Reed did have prior knowledge about the Braves wanting to move to Cobb, the announcement would have been detrimental to Reed’s re-election campaign run. Can you imagine it… “Reed is in danger of losing two teams.”
Though the Atlanta Brave will still be located in the Atlanta metropolitan area, we need to maintain the Atlanta Braves downtown.
Losing any one of these two teams in the downtown area would definitely a financial blow to the downtown community; the Hawks as well. Though the downtown area is improving with new attractions and more events, our professional sports teams are the biggest attractions for the only family, friends and work appropriate nightlife that is downtown. We have already lost one team, and we can’t afford to lose another.
And it is awfully bad that the team that we are losing is the most successful sports franchise out of them all.