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Truist Park, The Battery made just over $34M last year, officials say

The studies also showed The Battery’s property value increased by $43 million from 2020 to 2021, and that there are now 5,500 people being employed by the park.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Atlanta Braves officials said Truist Park and The Battery have made just over $34 million during their journey to become World Series champions.

While looking at multiple studies on Tuesday, Cobb County’s finance director, Bill Volckmann alongside the CEO of the Braves Development Company, Mike Plant, said that fiscal returns of the park far exceeded expectations.

“Our vision was always built on creating a 365-day environment and bringing people there with their family and friends to enjoy it and to live there and work there,” added Plant.

According to a county and independent study presented to commissioners, 9 million guests visited The Battery and Truist Park last year. The studies also showed The Battery’s property value increased by $43 million from 2020 to 2021, and that there are now 5,500 people being employed by the park.

“Truist Park was an attractive investment for Cobb County taxpayers,” said Plant.

However, one economist said the money being spent at the park is not new money – but simply money that’s shifted within the county.

"I'm not saying that there isn't spending going on down at The Battery, that people aren't spending that --- they absolutely are, explained Economist J.C. Bradbury. "The argument is that, well, most of the people who are spending at The Battery are, we're already Cobb residents who are local. And so they're just spending their money at the ballpark or at The Battery rather than spending it elsewhere in the county."

Bradbury released his own study earlier this year saying that funding the stadium and The Battery has far outpaced the income from revenue, actually costing taxpayers $15 million per year.

On Tuesday, Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson asked Volckmann about reports that have surfaced claiming the cost of $15 million and $16 million. She inquired about the direct impact to taxpayers and the bottom line. 

“Even if you want to take the most conservative of this number, you look at the $4.9 (million) in 2021. And with that you can add in the stadium capital contribution of just over $1.2 million. That would be about our limit," Volckmann replied. 

The county’s finance director also said the only taxpayers being impacted are within a tight cluster -- made up of mostly commercial businesses -- near and around Truist.

In April, Braves officials asked the county for a 10-year tax break to help finance the construction of a new $200 million tower at The Battery. There were some questions from board members on whether taxpayer assistance was warranted, but the Braves ended up withdrawing that request a few weeks later.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to add that a county commissioner inquired about the impact to taxpayers. 

    

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