The Braves aren’t good at winning championships, but they seem to excel above all others in at least one area: Getting government entities to build things for them.
They got a free stadium after the 1996 Olympics (Turner Field).
They’re getting $368 million in a bond sale from Cobb County for a $672 million stadium — as well as $35 million for capital maintenance, bringing the public money assault to a total of about $400 million. (The Braves will, however, pay some of the debt service as rent. Why? Because they’re givers, of course.)
And now, this: The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that a group is attempting to lure the Braves to Pinellas County (Fla.) as their new spring training home. The bait on the hook: a 240-acre, $662 million mixed used development that could house two major league teams.
The complex would be built on an old landfill. The Braves currently have the second-worst record in baseball at 60-91. I think they call this symmetry.
No specifics of the potential deal have been reported regarding the Braves’ financial stake in this, if any. But John Schuerholz, the Braves’ president and unofficial Rich Uncle Pennybags (“Monopoly” game man), was quoted in a letter in the 258-page proposal to the Braves as saying, “We look forward to entering into the next phase of our discussions with you and Pinellas County to work hard and in earnest to try to reach terms on a deal before the end of 2015 and make this development a facility of which we all can be proud.”
It’s no secret the Braves have been looking for a new spring training home. Their deal at Disney’s Wide World of Sports expires in two years. So they’ve been seeking and/or weighing potential offers from other interested parties in Florida over the last several months. This is the first one, however, that has had any specifics attached to it.
On an unrelated note, the Braves announced Tuesday that “2016 A-List Memberships are on sale now. The A-List guarantees the best seats at the lowest prices for the final season at Turner Field and beyond.” A-List members receiver priority for seating at the new stadium in 2017.
Maybe it’s just me but I’m not seeing the rush to secure priority seating right now.
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