Cobb County Commissioners Tuesday night approved a series of agreements that will bring the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County by 2017.
The commission approved bonds totaling $397 million to build a new Braves stadium in Cobb County.
District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid cast the only dissenting vote of the evening when she voted against the bonds.
After the meeting, Braves Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Derek Schiller told FOX 5’s Denise Dillon, “Today is a historic day, a great moment in our relationship with Cobb.”
The $397 million in bonds is $29 million more than the plan originally called for, a fact that had critics riled up.
But those critics weren’t allowed to voice their concerns to commissioners because they weren’t one of the first 12 people to sign up to speak.
“Fair would have been to give both sides the opportunity to talk,” said opponent Ben Williams.
Many people got in line 5 hours before the start of the meeting to make sure they would have a chance to speak. All of them were Braves supporters.
One supporter said, “We got here at 2 and 3 o’clock just to say thank you for this.”
In a statement from the team, Braves Executive Vice President of Business Operations Mike Plant said, “We are thrilled the Cobb County Commission has taken this large, and final, step that will allow this project to move forward. These agreements are the framework that will ensure a successful partnership between our organization and Cobb County.”
“Our team has worked side-by-side with the staff in Cobb County to ensure that we have the right partner in place to deliver the world-class venue that we all expect to see here on opening day of 2017. American Builders 2017 expertise in ballpark construction, ties to the local community and assurances of delivering the ballpark within budget gave us all the confidence to entrust them with this project,” said Plant.
"Building the new home of the Atlanta Braves—such an iconic project located in the heart of our hometown—is really a dream for our team." American Builders 2017 Principal-in-Charge Rob Taylor said in a statement. "We formed American Builders so we could draw on the resources, experience and expertise we have, both locally and nationally, and be able to deliver this project successfully for the Braves and Cobb County. We are confident in the ability to meet the schedule and look forward to the first pitch in the new ballpark in 2017."
American Builders 2017 is a joint venture between Brasfield & Gorrie, Mortenson Construction, Barton Malow Company and New South Construction. Combined, they have more than 225 years of construction experience and have completed more than 330 sports projects, including Target Field in Minneapolis, Coors Field in Denver and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
The new stadium is scheduled to open in 2017, replacing Turner Field which has housed the Braves and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Schiller added, “We're ready to build this ball park, we’re excited to be here.”
Proposed renderings of the new stadium can be viewed here.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of the year.