BRADENTON, Fla. The Cobb County, Ga., Commission approved a memorandum of understanding Nov. 26 that sets the stage for $300 million in public funding toward the Atlanta Braves new $672 million stadium and entertainment district.
Cobb commissioners voted 4-to-1 to approve the MOU, with Commissioner Lisa Cupid dissenting. Cupid said her vote was not against the Braves but because she disagreed with the speed at which commissioners were asked to consider such a large and complex deal.
The Major League Baseball team announced on Nov. 11 that it would move from 17-year-old Turner Field in downtown Atlanta.
The MOU provides an outline of terms between the Braves and Cobb County, as well as the Cobb Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which will issue bonds for constructing the stadium and public infrastructure.
Final documents for the 30-year agreement will be negotiated and approved at a later date. The county also must approve various funding mechanisms for the stadium financing, which includes creating a special tax district in the Cumberland area where the facility will be constructed, officials said.
The county and Exhibit Hall Authority have agreed to provide financing for the stadium, parking, transportation, and infrastructure under terms of the MOU, which calls for the Braves to play home games at the stadium from 2017 through 2046.
The Braves can terminate the MOU if bonds have not been issued by Dec. 31, 2014. Except for stadium rent, the team will be allowed to keep all revenue, fees, and other funds generated by the stadium, parking, and the retail and entertainment district.
The team is purchasing 60 acres for the stadium and mixed-use district.
The Braves will fund 55% of the project.
The remaining $300 million or 45% percent will be paid locally with a portion of an existing hotel-motel tax, reallocating certain property tax revenue, a new 3% rental car tax, funds from a property tax increase in the existing Cumberland Community Improvement District, and a new $3 per night hotel-motel charge to be enacted as the new Cumberland Special Service District hotel circulator fee.