ATLANTA - The president of the Atlanta Braves is defending the perceived lack of transparency in the team's move to Cobb County, saying it was the only way to get the deal done.
John Schuerholz spoke to the Atlanta Press Club on Thursday, touting the potential of the new stadium and mixed-use development coming in 2017. But amidst the looking forward, he also looked back and said they had to do this deal in private.
"It didn't leak out. If it had leaked out, this deal would not have gotten done," he said.
Schuerholz told press and business leaders in Atlanta that he couldn't have completed the Braves' deal with Cobb County in public.
"If it had gotten out, more people would have started taking the position of, 'We don't want that to happen. We want to see how viable this was going to be,'" Schuerholz said. "We were able to get that all done."
And now that it is, Schuerholz says fans are falling behind it. He referenced the 80-plus people who held a rally in support of the new stadium on Monday. This all comes a week before the Cobb County commissioners vote on development plans for the project.
"There are a lot of people who feel the way those 80 people did," Schuerholtz said. "There's a lot of people who are very, very happy that the Braves are moving to Cobb County."
Most are focused on the new stadium. But at this event, Schuerholz seemed particularly excited about what's coming with it.
"Wait till you see this mixed-use development," he said. "Never been done in major league baseball before…These locations are going go like crazy."
The team president even gave a few hints into what might be part of the stadium's surrounding mixed-use development. He referenced a water feature and possible microbreweries.
Schuerholz said that current season ticket holders will soon find out about options at the new park.