MLB’s Braves deny under-the-table ballpark deal

Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Atlanta Braves have denied any wrongdoing in the deal for their new Cobb County-based ballpark, which has drawn some criticism from local residents for reportedly being signed-off behind closed doors.

The Braves are due to move into their new $672m (€494.1m) ballpark in time for the 2017 season, with $300m of its construction cost being funded by taxpayers. Critics of the 12-mile move from the Braves’ current Turner Field home claim that the team and the Cobb County government disregarded the Open Meetings Act by failing to properly consult residents about the deal.

Braves executive vice-president Derek Schiller told SportBusiness International: “We do not believe that’s an accurate reflection of how these things work or how they should work. The Cobb County government were our partners in the negotiation process. The way we worked together was very effective in creating the best deal for Cobb County, its citizens and the Atlanta Braves.”

A full report about the Atlanta Braves’ new Cobb County ballpark will feature in SportBusiness International magazine’s February issue.