New radio series explores WTF is up with all those new Atlanta stadiums

WABE radio in Atlanta kicked off a week-long series yesterday on the metro area’s multiple new stadium and arena deals for the Falcons, Braves, and possibly Hawks, and I had the honor of being one of the first guests, pointing out that while there are certainly cities that got worse deals (hello, Indianapolis!), that’s not really something to brag about. You can listen to the whole interview here.

More interesting to me (since I know what I was going to say already) is Thursday’s upcoming appearance by Cobb County Commission chair Tim Lee, who will try to explain why it made sense to throw $300 million at the Braves to get them to move to a new stadium in the suburbs, plus maybe what’s up with that pedestrian bridge that won’t be ready in time to get fans from their cars to games, plus maybe the soaring ticket prices planned for the new place, plus even maybe why he secretly hired a lawyer with county funds to negotiate the Braves deal without even telling his fellow commission members, then lied about having done so. Come to think of it, I would have rather skipped my appearance yesterday and instead gotten to interview Lee. Now that would be some must-see radio.

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5 comments on “New radio series explores WTF is up with all those new Atlanta stadiums

  1. Having moved to Atlanta last year after 40 years in the Bosotn area, the contrast between how these 2 cities and states approach pro sports subsidies is amazing. It’s not that Boston hasn’t funded anything, but they seem to provide less money than many other cities have, and it takes YEARS for anything to go through the city and the state governments. In Atlanta, it seems all you have to do is ask and you can have all the money you want within weeks – as long as you are insanely rich and don’t need the money in the first place.

  2. One of the main benefits of being a politician is being in a position to dole out “favors” to rich people, who can then later compensate you for those “favors”.

  3. Actually, Chris, it is that Boston hasn’t funded anything. Boston is the only city in the United States that hasn’t contributed a penny of public money to any of its major league sports teams’ facilities.

  4. Dan, does that include tax concessions and the like? Or are you saying that they haven’t actually put any capital funds directly into projects?

  5. Dan, Boston has given away the land (or, more appropriately, the site) for the new Boston Garden, they have accepted significantly reduced revenue from the RedSox for the use of the streets around Fenway during gamedays and provided subsidies (tax credits?) for the renovations, and the city/state contributed to the infrastructure in and around the new Foxborough Stadium. There may be other money, but these are some examples of subsidies provided by the Boston area to its pro sports franchises. However, as compared to most everywhere else in the country, Boston hasn’t given up much money. Atlanta on the other hand…

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