Braves face tight schedule in new stadium construction

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- The rush is on for two stadiums to be built in the Atlanta area over the next three years.

The Atlanta Falcons held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, while the Atlanta Braves continue to move at a brisk pace on their own stadium.

A crowd of Cobb County business leaders held a rally on Monday in support of an upcoming County Commission vote on contracts for the new Braves stadium. The forgone process remains almost as dizzying as the few weeks it took to begin last fall.

Critics continue to blast the process as too rushed, but both Cobb and the Braves admit they're on a tight schedule.

According to their latest schedule, Cobb County and the Braves hope to begin stadium construction in February of next year and finish in January of 2017 -- nine weeks before baseball season opens.

Meanwhile, site work has already begun on the new $1 billion Falcons stadium, which is supposed to be finished in time for the beginning of the 2017 NFL season in August. That means the Braves stadium, which hasn't begun, will have to be finished several months earlier.

Georgia State University and others have already expressed interest in the current Braves stadium, but no one can move in just yet because the Braves still have the option extend their lease if construction on their new home falls behind.

The problem is, that deadline will come just short of the halfway point on their new Cobb stadium and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has made it clear any new lease on the old stadium would have to be for the full five years and not any less.

Critics of both new stadiums have tried to stop public money from being used in the projects. Thus far, they've had no success.


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