Fans  cheer before the start of a playoff game at SunTrust Park.
Photo: Jason Getz/Special to the AJC
Photo: Jason Getz/Special to the AJC

Breaking down the Braves’ $540 million in debt

A new financial filing by Braves owner Liberty Media shows how the team accumulated $540 million in debt. 

According to a quarterly report filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Braves’ debt as of Sept. 30 included $305 million from the construction of SunTrust Park, $160 million from development of The Battery Atlanta mixed-use complex, $45 million for operations and $30 million from construction of a new spring training facility in North Port, Fla. 

» MORE: Braves revenue is up, and so are their expenses. 

The team’s total debt increased $70 million between June 30 and Sept. 30, rising from $470 million to $540 million. 

During that time, construction continued on additions to The Battery and on a 47,000-square-foot “Braves Academy” building at the spring training complex.

Separately, Liberty Media’s filing Tuesday showed the Braves with $52 million committed in guaranteed compensation for 2020 under long-term contracts with players, coaches and executives, as of Sept. 30.

That figure doesn’t include what the Braves will wind up paying arbitration-eligible players and other players on one-year contracts, but it underscores that the team should have ample financial room to shop aggressively on the free-agent and trade markets during the offseason, if it chooses to do so.

The Braves had a final 2019 player payroll of $144 million, which includes $6 million spent for buyouts of 2020 options in four players’ contracts. The payroll ranked middle of the pack among MLB teams, 14th out of 30.

» ALSO: Braves hope to keep Donaldson, add catcher and starting pitching

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