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Georgia Supreme Court Authorizes Stadium Bonds

 

Earlier this week the Georgia Supreme Court voted to uphold a local ruling that authorized nearly $400 million in bonds to build SunTrust Park – the future home of the Atlanta Braves.

As you know, SunTrust Park is expected to generate more than $100 million in annual economic activity and will ensure Cobb County as the “Home of the Braves” for 30 years.  Construction is well underway and has already generated thousands of construction jobs and more than $250 million in contracts to businesses in Cobb County.

The high court’s unanimous decision is another step in the right direction for Cobb County and paves the way for progress as we prepare for Opening Day in 2017.

To read more about the Supreme Court’s ruling, click HERE.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our community.  It is because of people like you that Cobb County remains the best place to live, work, and play ball!

 

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Calling all Braves fans: Kids can meet Homer at East Cobb Library

Homer, the Atlanta Braves mascot, is scheduled to visit East Cobb Library on Monday, June 22. Kids can meet Homer, play Braves BINGO and win prizes at this FREE event from 3:30-4:30pm. 

The Atlanta Braves are again joining with the Georgia Public Library Service, SUBWAY Restaurants and Cobb County Public Library System to offer the Home Run Readers program, which allows students in grades K-12 to earn certificates and free game tickets by reading and participating in online writing activities. For more information, visit www.braves.com/reading.
For more information on the Homer event, call the East Cobb Library at (770) 509-2730.

 

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Final Guaranteed Maximum Price set for SunTrust Park

On May 26, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution of the Final Guaranteed Maximum Price of $462,202,065, for the construction of SunTrust Park as required by the agreement with Braves parties. The county’s capped contribution remains $300 million.

In May 2014, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved the development agreement with the Braves and a construction management agreement with American Builders for SunTrust Park. The agreements established the stadium project budget at $672 million. Under the agreements, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners were to approve a Final Guaranteed Maximum Price. Per the construction management agreement, American Builders submitted a construction price for the footprint of SunTrust Park. The FGMP falls within the original projected budget of $482 million.

The stadium is scheduled for completion for opening day 2017. Cobb County and the Atlanta Braves selected American Builders 2017 as the construction manager for SunTrust Park. American Builders 2017 serves the general contractor and is a joint venture among Brasfield & Gorrie, Mortenson Construction, Barton Malow Company and New South Construction Company. The team has more than 225 years of construction experience and has completed more than 330 sports projects, including football stadiums, baseball parks, soccer stadiums, basketball arenas and more.

Click here for more information and to access details and documents related to the FGMP.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like a ballpark!

 

This week, the Atlanta Braves released new pictures of construction of SunTrust Park:

  • All four tower cranes are up and operational
  • Most of the grading and deep foundation is complete
  • All caissons are complete; and
  • The first elevated concrete deck has been poured in the outfield concession and restroom area.

The tremendous progress is evident in the pictures and also in the construction schedule as American Builders have ramped construction up to a six-day workweek.  Speaking of the work, Cobb County subcontractors have been awarded $200 million of work on the site.  This represents 76 percent of subcontracts awarded to date. Click here for detailed information about the exciting SunTrust Park development.

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Live, Play, Stay at SunTrust Park

The Atlanta Braves and Omni Hotels & Resorts announced this week that they are partnering to develop a new hotel in the mixed-used development adjacent to SunTrust Park in Cobb County. The Omni property will be a full-service hotel and will serve as a cornerstone of the mixed-use community.

The Omni Atlanta Hotel at SunTrust Park will feature 16 floors, 260 guest rooms and suites, rooftop hospitality suites, approximately 12,500 square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant, an elevated pool deck and bar overlooking the plaza and ballpark. The hotel will serve meeting groups and business and leisure travelers alike, as well as visitors attending Braves games, and the many other events and activities hosted at the mixed-use development.

This announcement comes on the heels of last month’s exciting news that Comcast will be the anchor tenant of a nine story office building in the mixed use development, bringing more than 850 new jobs to Cobb County.  For more information on all happenings at SunTrust Park, click here.

 

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Atlanta Braves Homestand Highlights Friday, April 10 – Wednesday, April 15

Atlanta Braves v NY Mets: Turner Field

Turner Field’s opening weekend highlights of the NEW YORK METS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (April 10-12)

Saturday, April 11 at 7:10 p.m.

  • Gate giveaway: Georgia Power Magnetic Schedule
    The first 45,000 fans will receive a magnetic schedule presented by Georgia Power.
  • Pregame performance: Alex Guthrie Band
    The Braves 8th annual Band of the Year competition kicks off on Saturday of Opening Weekend with the 2014 winner, the Alex Guthrie Band, performing pregame in Fan Plaza.
  • MLB.com Ballpark app check-in offers

o   Every 15th fan to check in will unlock an Atlanta Braves shirt (offer valid up to 800 check ins).

o   Academy Sports + Outdoors Gift Card: Every 115th person who checks in up to 460 fans (4 fans total per game) will receive an Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card. The offer will run at ALL April home games, which includes April 10-15 and April 27-30. Fans can redeem the gift card at Fan Central near aisle 132.

o   10% discount for game-used store: Every fan up who checks in (up to 1,000 check ins) will receive a 10% discount for select items at the Braves Game-Used Store. Some items are excluded from the discount. The offer will run every game during April 10-15. Fans can redeem the offer by finding a sales associate at the Game-Used Store.

  • Jackie Robinson Invitational presented by Delta Air Lines
    The Atlanta Braves are hosting the 4th Annual Jackie Robinson Invitational Tournament presented by Delta Air Lines, to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. The tournament is taking place at the Braves Baseball Academy at the Villages of Carver YMCA.

Sunday, April 12 at 1:35 p.m.

  • Alumni Sundays presented by Hyundai

Starting two hours before the game, fans can catch Braves alumni Chris Hammond and Mike Bell for autographs in Fan Plaza.

  • MLB.com Ballpark app check-in offers

o   Every fan to check in will unlock an Atlanta Braves sticker.

o   10% discount for game-used store: Every fan up who checks in (up to 1,000 check ins) will receive a 10% discount for select items at the Braves Game-Used Store. Some items are excluded from the discount. The offer will run every game during April 10-15. Fans can redeem the offer by finding a sales associate at the Game-Used Store.

  • Kids Run the Bases presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Kids 14 and under can line up and run around the bases at Turner Field just like the Braves. To participate, kids can line up at the Hank Aaron Ramp (Section 129) at the end of the game.

MIAMI MARLINS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (April 13-15)
Monday, April 13 at 7:10 p.m.

  • Leadoff Luncheon

The Atlanta Braves are hosting the 2015 Leadoff Luncheon in the 755 Club at Turner Field to benefit the Atlanta Braves Foundation. The luncheon provides fans and sponsors the opportunity to get an inside look at the upcoming season by having lunch with Braves players, coaches and executives. Media are invited to cover the event, but must RSVP to Kelly Barnes in advance at Kelly.barnes@braves.com.

  • MLB.com Ballpark app check-in offers

o   One randomly selected fan will unlock a seat upgrade for themselves and three guests.

o   Academy Sports + Outdoors Gift Card: Every 115th person who checks in up to 460 fans (4 fans total per game) will receive an Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card. The offer will run at ALL April home games, which includes April 10-15 and April 27-30. Fans can redeem the gift card at Fan Central near aisle 132.

o   10% discount for game-used store: Every fan up who checks in (up to 1,000 check ins) will receive a 10% discount for select items at the Braves Game-Used Store. Some items are excluded from the discount. The offer will run every game during April 10-15. Fans can redeem the offer by finding a sales associate at the Game-Used Store.

Tuesday, April 14 at 7:10 p.m.

  • She Can Dream – Prom Makeover
    The Braves Wives will host 25 high school junior and senior girls at Turner Field from the Atlanta Public School System for an afternoon of prom preparation. The girls will get the VIP treatment as they browse through beautiful prom dresses and select their perfect gowns, courtesy of Fairytale Endings located in Kennesaw, GA. They will also receive Belk $50 gift certificates for the purchase of shoes to complement their gowns. The girls will participate in hair/make-up tutorials provided by K.P. Images, Inc. Each of the girls will be invited to stay for the Braves games following the event.

This is part of the “She is Brave” initiative, which educates, empowers and inspires girls through a series of initiatives that promotes self-esteem, healthy lifestyles and leadership skills.

 

  • MLB.com Ballpark app check-in offers

o   Four randomly selected fans will unlock an Andrelton Simmons bobblehead.

o   10% discount for game-used store: Every fan up who checks in (up to 1,000 check ins) will receive a 10% discount for select items at the Braves Game-Used Store. Some items are excluded from the discount. The offer will run every game during April 10-15. Fans can redeem the offer by finding a sales associate at the Game-Used Store.

Wednesday, April 15 at 12:10 p.m.

  • Jackie Robinson Day

The Braves will honor the life and career of baseball legend Jackie Robinson on Wednesday, April 15. All Braves will take the field wearing number 42 as they take on the Marlins.

  • Civil and Human Rights Education Day
    The Braves will host the second annual Civil and Human Rights Education Day. Doug Shipman of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Braves first base coach Terry Pendleton, and Brave Alumni Brian Jordan will participate in a presentation to middle and high school students on the impact sports had on the Civil Rights Movement.
  • MLB.com Ballpark app check-in offers

o   Every 50th fan to check in will unlock access to the 755 Club for themselves and three guests (offer valid up to 800 check ins).

o   Academy Sports + Outdoors Gift Card: Every 115th person who checks in up to 460 fans (4 fans total per game) will receive an Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card. The offer will run at ALL April home games, which includes April 10-15 and April 27-30. Fans can redeem the gift card at Fan Central near aisle 132.

o   10% discount for game-used store: Every fan up who checks in (up to 1,000 check ins) will receive a 10% discount for select items at the Braves Game-Used Store. Some items are excluded from the discount. The offer will run every game during April 10-15. Fans can redeem the offer by finding a sales associate at the Game-Used Store.

 

Every week at Turner Field

 

  • Friday Night Fireworks presented by Georgia Lottery: Fans will be treated to a dazzling display of fireworks over Turner Field following every Friday home game throughout the season.
  • Alumni Sundays presented by Hyundai: Starting two hours before the game, fans can catch Braves alumni for autographs in the Plaza before every Sunday home game.
  • Kids Run the Bases presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta: On Sundays, kids 14 and under can line up and run around the bases at Turner Field just like the Braves. To participate, kids can line up at the Hank Aaron Ramp at the end of the game.
  • MLB.com Ballpark app: Fans visiting Turner Field this season can connect with their Atlanta Braves using the new and FREE MLB.com Ballpark app, available for iPhone and Android users. Visithttp://www.braves.com/ballpark to download today!
  • Coca-Cola $12 Tuesdays: Club Pavilion tickets are available for only $12 every Tuesday, fans save up to 57%
  • All You Can Eat Seats: For as low as $55 for group tickets on Super Value games and $65 at the gate, fans can enjoy unlimited smoked BBQ sandwiches, chicken wings, all beef franks, potato salad, peanuts, popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, Coca-Cola products, and draft beer.
  • College and AAA Discount: Two Upper Box tickets for the price of one with a valid college or AAA ID card. *Offer not valid 4/10, 7/4 & 8/29
  • Military Discount: Two Upper Box and Outfield tickets for the price of one tickets with a valid military ID. *Offer not vailid 4/10
  • $1 SkyLine Seats: Available two and a half hours before every home game at the Turner Field Ticket Office.
  • Sport Clips $8 Monday Night Chop: Terrace View tickets for only $8, a savings of up to $22
  • Chick-fil-A Kids Club: For $25, kids can get two tickets to a Braves home game, a Chick-fil-A sandwich, cool lunch bag, Braves water bottle and front of the line access for Kids run the bases. Plus free face painting, merchandise discounts, exclusive party invites and much more.
  • Chevron Family Value Plan: Save up to 40% and bring your family out to Turner Field with the Chevron Value Plan! Packages start as low as $69 and include four game tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks, a parking pass, game program and a $10 Chevron gift card.
  • 50/50 raffle: Support the Atlanta Braves Foundation by purchasing 50/50 raffle tickets at every Braves home game. Tickets start at $5 for 10 tickets and can be purchased from sellers in yellow aprons from the time gates open until the end of the sixth inning. The winning number will be announced in the 8th inning on the out of town scoreboard located above the 755 Club and throughout the ballpark. Fifty percent of the net proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket sales will go to one lucky fan and the other half will benefit the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Prize claims are made at Guest Relations (Aisle 146) or by calling (404) 614-2305. For more information, visitbraves.com/5050raffle. All prize claims must be made within thirty (30) days of the raffle.

 

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Season tickets for new stadium available soon

 

Season tickets for the Atlanta Braves new SunTrust Park in Cobb will go on sale next month at an office near the new stadium.Click here for the good news. #IloveCobb

 

SunTrust Park business outreach event is Tuesday

Businesses interested in being subcontractors on aspects of the SunTrust Park, being built in Cobb County, are invited to attend the business outreach event to get information on the types of contractors needed and the process for being considered.

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10
Cobb County Senior Wellness Center
1150 Powder Springs St, Marietta.

To RSVP, go to www.AmericanBuilders2017.com.

 

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Braves move to Cobb: Oral Argument at Supreme Court of Georgia

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The planned stadium in Cobb County for the Atlanta Braves has had a bit of controversy. For months various public figures have described any opposition to the stadium as misguided and have denigrated anyone who has questioned the project. I am one of those people and ask for a couple of minutes of your time to read this and understand the issues.
Current status: In July, Cobb County Superior Court held a hearing to”Validate” the bonds for financing the stadium. This is a legally-mandated process that assures bond investors that the bonds were properly issued under the law. Several people “intervened” in the validation process. Intervention is allowed in the law for anyone who has reason to oppose the validation. The Court dismissed all the objections and issued an order validating the bonds. Three Interveners appealed the ruling of the Cobb Court. By law, appeals of bond validation go directly to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Briefs were submitted by the three Appellants and by the attorneys for the government parties (Cobb County and the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority) in November and December. On Tuesday, February 3, oral arguments were heard in the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Video of the oral arguments in the stadium bonds case at the Supreme Court can be seen here.

This is a very abbreviated view of the case against the bond debt.
The new stadium for the Atlanta Braves requires Cobb County to incur debt. Revenue bonds are to be issued in the amount of $397,000,000. The bonds are to be issued by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority.
The Georgia Constitution states clearly that a referendum is required to acquire “the assent of the voters”  for a local government to incur debt. This was not done despite there being elections already scheduled in April and November of 2014. There are also other limitations in the Constitution that are applicable to revenue bond debt.
Cobb County and the Coliseum Authority have entered into an “Intergovernmental Agreement” (IGA). This is a specialized form of contracts for units of state and local governments. Under this agreement the Authority will issue the bonds and the County will make payments to the Authority sufficient to meet the obligations for principal and interest on the bonds, as well as expenses of the Authority. This is in addition to rent payments by the Braves of $6.1 million per year. The County’s payments will run about $19 million per year, for thirty years. These terms were approved by the Cobb County Commissioners, not by a referendum of the public.
The government (County and Authority) contends that they are not subject to the limitations on debt, including the referendum requirement, found in the Constitution because they have an Intergovernmental Agreement. The constitutional origin for the IGA is not the basis for that claim as it says nothing about that subject. The claim that the government is immune to the debt limitations of the Constitution is derived from a court decision in 1952.
Several issues were raised in the appeal to the Supreme Court. The most important objections before the Court are these:
  • The 1952 Court decision has for years provided the legal authority for local governments to dodge the debt limits of the Constitution. It is a seriously flawed decision. In short, the conclusion of the Court in 1952 is completely wrong and should be overturned by the current Supreme Court. With that, the government would not have a claim of immunity and would absolutely be required to conform to the limitations of the Constitution, including the referendum requirement.
  • The Intergovernmental Agreement between the County and the Coliseum Authority is not valid. It does not contain the essential elements of an Intergovernmental Agreement that the Court has required in all prior cases.
  • The government does not have Constitutional authority to build a stadium for the exclusive use of a professional sports team. The government claims its Constitutional Authority is from the Supplemental Powers Clause which allows for “parks” as a government function.
Why does it matter?
The use of Intergovernmental Agreements between units of government has been a growing trend around the state for years. It allows a local government and one of the MANY “Authorities” that have power to issue revenue bonds to cooperate in a way that bypasses the voters and enters the taxpayers into long-term debt obligations for virtually anything the county commissioners or city councils want to do. The stadium project in Cobb County takes it to the final step in that the stadium itself stretches the constitutional authority of “parks” to the maximum. The Intergovernmental Agreement says nothing more than “Party A will issue the bonds and Party B will provide money to make the payments”, with the money coming from taxpayers. This agreement can be replicated at any time by any local government in the state. If it is found to be acceptable, revenue bond debt will be available to any city or county in the state at any time with no vote and no limits.
All of this is contrary to clearly stated terms of the state Constitution and defies good judgement. What could be more dangerous than local politicians with unlimited access to credit?
One last word: Cobb County has approved a series of new taxes to pay for the stadium debt. Much of it falls on hotels, rental cars and property near the stadium. I have doubts about the legality of those taxes but no one has challenged them.
The bonds to be issued for financing the stadium ($397,000,000) include  a statement of “Security”. This is what assures investors that the bonds will absolutely be paid. The Security for these bonds is the absolute assurance that Cobb County will tax all the property in Cobb County at whatever rate is necessary to meet its obligations for this debt.
(Written by Larry Savage)

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Atlanta Braves releases four new conceptual renderings

 

The team also announced Atlanta-based architectural design firm Wakefield Beasley & Associates as the lead designer of the mixed-used development. The company has designed mixed-use developments throughout the southeast, including The Forum in Norcross, Ga., Town Center at Atlantic Station and Avalon in Alpharetta, Ga.

The new renderings provide additional architectural detail, highlight the massing of proposed buildings, showcase the interaction of SunTrust Park and various elements of the mixed-use project, and demonstrate the integration of the project with the surrounding area.

Both the ballpark and mixed-use development will open in April 2017. To view or download these renderings go to www.braves.com/suntrustpark

(Source: Cobbline)

 

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