Cobb will not spend $2 million recently approved for extra MLB All-Star expenses

Cobb County chairwoman Lisa Cupid answers questions about the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia during a press conference on Friday, April 2, 2021 at the Cobb County Government building in Marietta, Georgia. The decision to move the event was made in response to the state legislature's passage of a new voting law, that critics say will limit voting rights for residents of the state. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Cobb County chairwoman Lisa Cupid answers questions about the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia during a press conference on Friday, April 2, 2021 at the Cobb County Government building in Marietta, Georgia. The decision to move the event was made in response to the state legislature's passage of a new voting law, that critics say will limit voting rights for residents of the state. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Cobb County only spent about $30,000 of the $2 million it approved last month for extra expenses for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and that officials canceled that purchase on Monday, a spokesperson said.

The county commission in March approved the funds mostly for public safety and transportation costs for the game, which had been scheduled for July 13 at the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park in Cobb.

Now that MLB decided on Friday to relocate the Midsummer Classic to another state over concerns about Georgia’s new voting law, the spokesman, Ross Cavitt, said he anticipates commissioners will take action to return the money back to county coffers.

The $30,000 purchase was for equipment for the police department, Cavitt said.

Georgia’s new elections law includes an ID requirement for mail-in votes, restricts ballot drop boxes, prohibits non-election workers from handing out food and water to voters waiting in line and expands weekend voting in some cases.

Supporters of the law say it restores integrity to the election system. But critics have said that it places unnecessary barriers between people of color and the ballot box.

Since Gov. Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 202 on March 25, a number voices throughout the country have called on the MLB to relocate the All-Star Game, which hadn’t been played in metro Atlanta for 21 years.

President Joe Biden last week called the law “Jim Crow on steroids” in an interview with ESPN on the eve of MLB’s opening day. Biden also said he would strongly support moving the game.

Cobb County officials, meanwhile, appealed to MLB’s Players Association to keep the event here because of the millions in revenue it was projected to bring local businesses.

Two Atlanta-based corporations, Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, were threatened with boycotts for not strongly condemning the new voting rules as the legislature considered them. Then, late last week, both companies issued public statements slamming the legislation

MLB announced it was moving the game the next day. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said the league supports voting rights for all Americans and that relocating the All-Star game was the best way to demonstrate those values.

Kemp accused baseball officials of caving to fear and liberal lies.

“Georgians - and all Americans - should fully understand what MLB’s knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included,” Kemp said.

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