New Braves stadium faces bond hurdles

MARIETTA, GA – It's one of the biggest hurdles for the $622-million new Atlanta Braves stadium, set to open in Cobb County in 2017.

The county needs to sell $397-million in bonds to pay its share, but more than a dozen Cobb County citizens are trying to stop the bond sale.

For more than six hours on Monday, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard heard arguments about whether he should approve the bonds.

"It's not a public stadium…everything goes to the Braves, everything," argued attorney Tucker Hobgood, one of the dozen citizens opposing the sale.

He argued that Cobb taxpayers had no vote in whether the county should spend millions in special taxes to help build the new stadium.

He and other intervenors argued the public-private arrangement is unconstitutional.

County attorneys argued those issues and whether the deal was transparent enough should have no impact on the issue.

They claim the only decision for the judge is whether the arrangement is a legal means of issuing bonds and whether the county can repay them.

Supporters claim the stadium is a good deal for the Cobb County Stadium Authority and the taxpayers of the county.

Judge Leonard took the case under advisement, saying he wants final paperwork submitted to him by July 18th and that he will rule by the end of the month.

No matter which way he rules, both sides have indicated they might appeal, which could further delay plans to have the new Braves stadium open in time for the 2017 season.


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