Cobb Commissioners approve Braves stadium deal

Cobb Commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, on the operating agreement that will bound the county to borrow up to $397 million to build the Atlanta Braves a new stadium scheduled to open in 2017.

Commissioners also approved several other aspects of the deal that will keep the Braves in the new stadium for 30 years.

Public comment tonight was dominated by stadium supporters, angering those who showed up at tonight’s meeting to protest parts of the deal and how it was conducted. They were not granted a chance to speak.

Tonight’s vote culminates months of negotiations between county and team officials, which followed commission approval of a preliminary agreement in November.

Here’s a breakdown of the deal.

Stadium Project Budget: $622 million

Public Contribution: $392 million

$368 million in bonds*

$14 million in transportation sales tax

$10 million cash from businesses in the Cumberland Community Improvement District

*Does not include up to $29 million in additional county debt to pay the first 15 months of interest and up-front borrowing costs. The interest rate at the time of the issuance will determine the exact amount borrowed. The maximum bond issuance could be $397 million.

Braves Contribution: $230 million, which can be increased up to $280 million at the team's discretion.

County’s maximum annual payment: $25 million**

**This is the legal maximum annual debt payment. The exact amount will depend on interest rates at the time of the bond issuance. County officials have estimated the annual payment is unlikely to exceed $24 million.

County annual revenue sources for bond payments:

Renewal of countywide property tax levy: $8.6 million

Braves rent: $6.1 million

New property tax from Cumberland-area businesses: $5.1 million

New nightly hotel room fee: $2.7 million

Existing hotel-motel tax: $940,000

New rental car tax in unincorporated Cobb: $400,000

For the complete details on Cobb County's commitment to the Braves click on this link to

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