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The political spin over the new Braves ballpark is on down in Atlanta

Nov 18, 2013, 11:00 AM EST

Cobb County

Question: if ballpark deals are as obviously awesome and beneficial as everyone says, why do the people who support the Braves new ballpark deal feel the need to conduct push-polling and to write constituent letters that would make your average Ministry of Propaganda blush?

Jim Galloway of the AJC has the details of it all, including that telephone poll which actually spends more time advertising than it does questioning folks about their opinions. And a letter from a Cobb County commissioner to a constituent complaining of public money being spent on a ballpark which starts out with “Sorry that you are so upset about a fabulous economic development for our County that will not effect your property tax bill.”

Of course, the anti-stadium folks have their own campaigns too.

Anyway, this will all be fun to go back and look at in five years when the “Ballpark not the economic engine its backers promised” stories come out.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    That letter is just way out of line (though to be fair we don’t know precisely what it was in response to). I have to wonder if the politicians really think this isn’t costing citizens of the county anything, or if they’re just doing a great job of pretending to think that.

    • Anoesis - Nov 18, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      They’re politicians. Suspension of reality is as natural as breathing when one is skewing public policy to benefit certain groups.

  2. clydeserra - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Do the “not the economic engine its backers promised” ever come out? will the AJC or tv news in the area ever cover that?

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      No. What happens is that if all of the wonderful economic development that was promised never comes along, the county will be blamed for not investing enough in development, rather than any acknowledgement that the stadium didn’t help the surrounding area. For example, look at Turner Field right now. The argument: The city hasn’t invested in building up the surrounding area. Rather than: The stadium didn’t do anything to improve the surrounding area.

  3. ud1951 - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Political talking points (ballparks=economic engines) tend to live long after they are shown to be demonstrably false.

  4. shawndc04 - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    She might want to start by knowing the difference between “effect” and “affect” before writing a letter to her constituent.

    • raysfan1 - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      I had the same thought.

  5. lightcleric - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Huge Braves fan living in the Metro area, would definitely go to more games if the stadium was up here and I’m sure a lot of people would too. Fighting the nightmarish traffic or dealing with Marta(or, my favorite, dealing with nightmarish traffic to get to Marta) both ways on a weekday afternoon? It’s insanely frustrating and time consuming.

    And this is exactly WHY the Braves should pay for it. If they can’t, they should ask MLB for assistance. I would gladly pay a chunk more on my ticket to fund the stadium if it would shave 1-2 hours off the hassle of getting there, especially since I’m sure they’re going to raise ticket prices anyway. People who consume the product are the ones who should pay for it.

    • bravojawja - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      I hope for your sake you’re in Cobb and not in Gwinnett. It’ll be impossible for those folks to get around the top end and make it by first pitch.

    • beachnbaseball - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      “I would gladly pay a chunk more on my ticket to fund the stadium if it would shave 1-2 hours off the hassle of getting there, especially since I’m sure they’re going to raise ticket prices anyway.”

      I don’t think anticipating debt pay down based on an assumption of increased attendance or inflated ticket prices are sound financial plans.

      • lightcleric - Nov 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        There’s more ways to go about funding it than that. They can get private investors who invest their own money into the project and take that risk along with the Braves. If your response is private investors wouldn’t take that kind of risk, why in the world should politicians take that risk with someone else’s money?

        If Cobb County pays 45% of it, and the net economic benefit(remember the stadium has drawbacks that the politicians/owners won’t mention) doesn’t match up to that and the inevitable hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations the county is going to be asked for over the course of the stadium that every sports franchise asks for, who got the short end of the stick there?

      • clydeserra - Nov 18, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        “they can get private investors”

        OK. Who? Why? Why would a private enterprise invest in this project?

        If Cobb County or the Braves know, they would have told us. They don’t know, because such a private enterprise doesn’t exist.

    • clydeserra - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      But, the consumers aren’t going to pay a huge portion (if not the bulk). Its gonna come from some form of tax on people. That tax will be charge to people when they are not using the stadium.

    • louhudson23 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:32 AM

      Traffic is no better where it is going than where it is….the whole surrounding area is a clusterf***k of epic proportions and a prime example of unrestrained development and poor planning…this is just the latest chapter of waste,greed and then some waste and greed just to round out the picture….

  6. hildezero - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Where is the Braves stadium located at?

    • bravojawja - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Atlanta.

      The new one won’t be.

  7. raysfan1 - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Yeah, the first two questions of that poll are completely free of bias and not at all agenda-driven. /s

  8. flyinhighwithvick - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Finally, Craig has something to write about other than the Phillies.

  9. jb8588 - Nov 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    My thinking is if the stadium would be in the suburbs…wouldn’t that actually hurt attendance? I would assume like in most major cities (especially here in DC) that the majority of the population lives outside the city limits, but either work in or right outside the city limits. With that, if you’re working in Atlanta, how does it make sense to make your fans have to fight the rush hour traffic in the afternoon heading back to the suburbs like everybody else is trying to do? All I know is if the Nats decided to have their stadium out in the suburbs…nobody would make it to the games because that’s where all of the afternoon traffic is going during the week!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 18, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      Maybe the Braves can trick the City of Atlanta into building a light rail to the stadium. That way the Braves get richer? See everyone wins (if b y “everyone” you mean “Braves ownership”)

      • louhudson23 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:34 AM

        Those folks are not getting on any train or bus…that’s for the black and tans….burning gas is how they roll(1 to a car and 5-10mph at a time)

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