Robb Pitts: Braves move may open opportunities for ATL

9:43 PM, Nov 18, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Last week the Atlanta Braves dropped a bombshell when they announced that they were moving to the 'burbs.
The team cited a better location, closer to its fan base in Cobb County.

We've heard from Atlanta's mayor and Cobb officials. Now, a member of the Fulton County commission is speaking out about the $650 million deal.

A lot folks may forget Fulton County has still got some skin in the game where the Braves are concerned. Commissioner Robb Pitts wrote on op-ed piece in the Atlanta Business Chronicle about the move. And he is not one of those bemoaning the team's transition from Atlanta Braves to Metro Atlanta Braves.

In fact, he sees it as a big opportunity for the city and Fulton County, which he said holds a one-third stake in the land around Turner Field.

Here's what Pitts had to say in his own words:

"I say stop crying. Let's see this as an opportunity and take advantage of it. Roll up our sleeves; let's get to work, if in fact it's a done deal."

"Some people have called me and said 'Wouldn't this be a great spot for a casino one day in Atlanta?' And the answer to that is, yes."

"I'll be honest with you. The handwriting was on the wall for years. We've known the fan base was north, and it's only because Ted Turner insisted that the Braves remain in downtown Atlanta that they did for years."

"(The Braves) probably felt that despite the mayor's really, really good efforts, trying to keep them (in Atlanta), they probably felt a little slighted because of all the attention that Arthur Blank received and the Falcons' new stadium."

"People come here for a game; some may stay in Cobb County, but the action is still within Atlanta and Fulton County. From that point of view, I don't see it as that big a deal quite frankly. It may hurt our ego, if we in fact lose them. But overall I don't think so."

We've noticed that many conversations about the new stadium proposal include that pesky little disclaimer: "If the deal gets done."



While Commissioner Pitts believes it will, he too still leaves a little wiggle room for some kind of 11th hour miracle. He believes that if residents in Atlanta want it bad enough, the city can find the money, without leveraging all of its reserves.

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* Turner Field to be demolished after Braves leave
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Tom Glavine says he's happy about the possible move
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* TEAM COVERAGE: Atlanta Braves announce plans to build new stadium
* PHOTOS  Braves building new stadium in Cobb Co.
* How old is Turner Field?
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