The recent news concerning the Atlanta Braves’ plans to leave Turner Field and move to Cobb County has created quite the stir among Atlanta and Cobb County residents alike! After all, this local icon has been a pillar of pride for the downtown Atlanta area for almost two decades. Since they are “planning” to leave Atlanta and move to Cobb County, the residents there fear they may now have to fork up the extra costs associated with the Atlanta Braves’ relocation to their area. Therefore, it is no surprise how people are reacting to the news. It is not like they were given a say in the process, yet they may be forced to pay higher taxes. The Braves are said to have requested approximately $200 million in order to remain in Downtown Atlanta – a term that if not honored would ultimately result in them moving to Cobb Parkway once their lease expires in 2016. Their new stadium is said to cost approximately $672 million, seat over $40,000 and be located in Cobb County where I-75 and I-285 intersect.
But is all this talk about their move to Cobb Pkwy a “ploy” to increase their bargaining chips and somehow coerce the City of Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed into a favorable settlement – i.e. favorable for them? After all, if they were absolutely certain about their decision to leave Turner Field, would they even engage in further negotiations with Mayor Reed for the aforementioned funds, especially having expressed their dissatisfaction with certain conditions at their current location? Facts reveal that the Braves do not manage Turner Field, nor do they have free range in all matters concerning their day-to-day operation. They also complained about needing to make renovations to the ballpark. As a result, it seems a rather plausible option that they may simply be trying to turn the tides in their favor in order to gain complete autonomy over their location and management of their affairs. But, would they be wrong for doing so? The question remains, nonetheless, whether their method is considered “playing” fair. Notably, in the art of war everything could be considered “fair game”. However, according to reports, Mayor Reed is not willing to compromise millions of taxpayer dollars in order to appease the Braves – albeit, he is not throwing in the towel just yet concerning the possibility of them remaining at Turner Field! Why is he so confident that there may still be hope? Perhaps he knows something the rest of us may soon find out.
So, where does that leave the City of Atlanta? If the Braves’ plans turn out to be a “front”, then the people of Atlanta can then exhale a breath of relief. This would mean that they would be able to maintain their family traditions of attending ballgames, still have a place to hang out with the comrades, and most importantly, a myriad of jobs will be saved and family livelihoods preserved as a result. However, if their decision to move proves valid, how will the city compensate for such a great loss in dividends to the area? I guess we’ll all have to wait and see. Plan or Ploy? You decide! –sylvie chantal humphreys
Tags: Baseball, Atlanta Braves, Braves, Stadium, Turner Field, Cobb County