You can dig into the twenty-page acronym-loaded MOU - or "Memo of Understanding" - between the Braves and Cobb County at your leisure (here's the pdf) but here’s the main takeaway: the Braves asked for lots of control and they’ve been promised it in a sweetheart of a deal that would run through the 2046 baseball season.
So, it's been just over a week since the Atlanta Braves announced their intentions to move to Cobb County. Reporters have been furiously filing open records requests, politicians have been spinning their positions, and the team's attempting a PR offensive. Meanwhile, some fans are taking to a form of art therapy.
Listen you ITP people, there’s no reason to get personal. We Cobb residents didn’t ask for a baseball stadium any more than you Atlantans lobbied to kick the Braves out. Please direct your anger at Braves owner Liberty Media and your *own* elected officials. Hating on Cobb County is like an ex-wife blaming her husband’s new spouse, even though she’s the one who initiated the divorce.
It can’t have been easy to be a Cobb resident this week. Since Monday’s surprise announcement of the Braves’ impending relocation to a vacant lot near Cumberland Mall, the prevailing attitude from the rest of the metro area has been: Effing *Cobb*. Those highway-worshipin’, Applebees-eatin’ suburbanites spit in the face of progress [time] and [again], then steal our baseball team.
When the Braves announced their move to the burbs on Monday, there was plenty of vocal vitriol from ITPers. But there was surprisingly little celebrating, let alone gloating, from the people of Cobb County. That low grumble you heard instead was the angry muttering and collective unsettling of suburbanite stomachs of a tax base left to wonder where the hell Cobb’s share of the money for the new stadium was going to come from. And Cobb officials were saying nothing to salve the dyspepsia.
Mazzone has fond memories of Turner Field, where he wore out the bench as pitching coach, rocking nervously back and forth in the dugout beside manager Bobby Cox as the two oversaw the most successful stretch in Braves history.
In response to criticism that his administration was paying more attention to the Falcons than to the Braves, thus letting the latter slink away to Cobb County, Mayor Kasim Reed yesterday released a timeline that showed, among other things, that his office was . . . paying more attention to the Falcons than the Braves.
At today's press conference, Mayor Kasim Reed announced that the sixty-acre tract currently occupied by Turner Field and acres of asphalt will be developed into housing for middle-income residents.
From the downtown booster organization: "We are hopeful that the Braves and the City will develop a scenario that will keep them at Turner Field far beyond 2016."
For more than half a century, the Atlanta Braves have rented a prime chunk of property just south of Downtown. To accommodate this prized tenant, city and county officials have demolished entire blocks, proffered tax breaks, rerouted roads, and constructed not one but two massive stadiums. It’s not been enough. Today the Braves announced they will leave Atlanta proper – and move twelve miles up the freeway to Cobb County, hosting opening day 2017 in a brand new ballpark.