ATLANTA -- With the Atlanta Braves paying a majority of the construction costs for their new Cobb County stadium, the deal looked good enough for the Cobb County board of commissioners to bless it Tuesday night. But what happens after construction is largely unknown -- argues Stefan Turkheimer.
"I don't think they even know how much Cobb County taxpayers are going to be on the hook for," Turkheimer said Wednesday.
Turkheimer is an attorney who wrote an analysis of the stadium agreement in a political blog called Peach Pundit. He points out that the Braves will pay the county about one dollar per ticket sold over the course of thirty years-- which won't change if ticket prices go up. "A dollar per seat now seems like a perfectly reasonable number. A dollar a seat in 2030 probably isn't," Turkheimer said. "There's no escalating clause in there. So that rent will stay exactly the same."
Turkheimer adds that the Braves will reap a huge windfall in parking -- keeping three quarters of the six million dollars per year in projected parking revenue. And Cobb county is projected to pay half the stadium's capital expenses.
"The County could have made a lot more money off of it. They could have had a lot more incentives for growth out of the deal," Turkheimer said. "But they didn't really have the experience, I feel, to draft a better agreement."
Turkheimer says the stadium isn't necessarily a bad deal for cobb county taxpayers -- but rather one that's likely to become more expensive as the details emerge.
COMPLETE COVERAGE OF BRAVES MOVING:
* PHOTOS | Proposed new Braves stadium
* Cobb County Commissioners OK Braves stadium
* Federal funds may help Cobb Braves traffic
* Exclusive: Ted Turner doesn't want Braves to leave Atlanta
* Reed: 'My taxpayers aren't backstopping a $1.2M stadium'
* Ex-Brave John Rocker: Who wants to fight crime on way to ballpark?
* Exclusive Poll: Atlantans OK with Braves move to Cobb
* New drawings released of new Braves stadium
* Cobb County releases memorandum of understanding on Braves Stadium deal
* Pro/con campaigns on Braves move target voters
* Millions paid for land near stadium days before Braves bombshell
* Robb Pitts: Braves move may open opportunities for ATL
* Deal meets with Reed, Braves to discuss team's departure
* Cobb still mum on taxpayers' share for new Braves stadium
* Turner Field to be demolished after Braves leave
* Fulton chairman: Keep the Braves in Fulton County
* Turner Field neighbors fear "ghost town" if Braves leave, while Cobb County neighbors jumping for joy
* Tom Glavine says he's happy about the possible move
* Braves officials discuss new stadium during press conference
* Braves president Schuerholz announces new stadium
* How old is Turner Field?
* Historic moments at Turner Field