Cost of Braves stadium deal rises $18 million

Cobb County political leaders last fall assured taxpayers that their financial commitment toward a new Atlanta Braves stadium would be capped at $300 million to build the stadium and another $35 million for 30 years of capital maintenance.

But an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found the county will borrow an additional $18.2 million when it issues bonds to pay for the project. The new costs are needed to cover $15.1 million for the first year of interest on the debt, along with another $3.1 million to pay the county’s bond attorney and other issuance costs.

That brings the amount borrowed to $386 million, not the $368 million told to the public and outlined in a preliminary agreement with the Braves that was approved by the county commission in November.

The previously undisclosed costs raise the specter of other unknown expenses that may await taxpayers, including unknown amounts for legal bills, additional public safety costs, road work or additional costs that may come from operating and development agreements the county still must finalize with the Braves.

AJC reporters Dan Klepal and Brad Schrade have dug deep into the financial portion of this deal to uncover the hidden costs. To read more about what they’ve found, visit

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