The Gwinnett Braves, formerly known as the Richmond Braves, have played their first game at their new digs in the suburbs of Georgia.
While the team may be happy with their new home, an editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that taxpayers may have gotten the short end of the baseball bat.
According to the article, the publicly-funded stadium in Gwinnett County was originally slated to cost $45 million to construct, but the most recent (and not final) construction tab was $64 million. Furthermore, the county has been unable to sell naming rights to the stadium, which was projected to cover 20 percent of the stadium’s debt service.
Author J.C. Bradbury echoes many of the similar complaints about the proposal to build a stadium in Shockoe Bottom.
From the article:
It is quite simple: money spent at the ballpark has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is other entertainment options within Gwinnett. The county isn’t getting any richer, it’s just shuffling its existing wealth around. And to make matters worse, the bulk of the spending will be transferred to Liberty Media shareholders (who own the Braves) outside the county.
The Gwinnett county stadium was publicly funded — the Shockoe stadium proposal is not.
And as to the J.C. Bradbury comment, the difference is that there aren’t many other entertainment options in Richmond, so the money will be shuffled from Henrico and Chesterfield into the city. This is a GOOD thing. For years the counties have been taking entertainment dollars from the city — it’s time the city started competing for those dollars.
Instead of going into more debt for a new stadium, the citizens would be better served by City government if it invested in better school buildings and reduced meals and admission taxes.
There are other way to compete besides building a Stadium that has limited use for the pricetag and is dependant on revenue from a Team that may or may not be supported by Richmond. We have a history of losing Teams not just the Braves. I am suprised we still have the Kickers. The idea of Public versus Private funding is not as clear as FanGuy would insist. It will depend on the Independent report that City Council and the Mayor set up. Mayors and City council members of this fine Commonwealth have a habit of using Tax Dollars to… Read more »