Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee must feel like he’s sitting in a dunking booth. During the Public Comment portion of the bi-monthly Board of Commissioners meetings, it has become almost customary for citizens disgruntled with Lee’s handling of the new Braves stadium to take their best shot at the chairman.
The deal was done. Every person packed into the Cobb County Board of Commissioners meeting last night knew that the officials were moving forward with their shotgun marriage to the Braves, whose leaders were sitting in the front row. Two of the commissioners had already voiced support of Chairman Tim Lee’s agreement, fresh out of the smoke-filled room. Three votes out of five. The math was simple.
For both millenials and long-time fans, this Braves season is starting to bring flashbacks. Young fans recall the collapse of 2011 as the long-sufferers fight off visions of the late 1980’s. The team has lost six straight games—falling to three games behind the first-place Nationals. Despair over this slump is mitigated by a trade with the Cubs that could give the team a needed jolt.
It was party time in East Cobb, Tuesday morning be damned, courtesy of the county’s newest corporate citizen. The Braves laid down AstroTurf beneath the dance hall-sized tent they pitched in the middle of the barren Cumberland construction site that will, in two years time, be their new home—the newly christened SunTrust Field.
After Turner Field has gone quiet a year from now, SunTrust Park will be buzzing with Atlanta Braves fans. Before then, there’s plenty of work left to do at the $672 million ballpark.
If the new Atlanta Braves stadium becomes the economic engine that boosters predict, it would be as likely as seeing Julio Teheran throw a perfect game. Economists say they know of no major league ballparks that justify their public subsidies. "Study after study after study agrees with this finding," said sports economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University. "People don’t even study it any more, it’s so non-controversial."
The Braves' new neighbors in Cobb County may be in for sticker shock. A proposed tax district planned to help subsidize stadium construction would comprise more than double the taxable property in the existing Cumberland tax district.
Granted, we did our share of taunting Dan Uggla last year. But Phillies fans are the worst. Spend your lunch break replaying this video courtesy of Timothy Burke at Deadspin.
You may love them or you may loathe them, but you can never say that Philadelphia sports fans aren't passionate—and creative. When their teams suck, Philly fans generally deride and degrade their own more than any visitor would dare. But as a rival, it is cathartic to watch them choke on their antics.