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Braves Stadium Information

Funding

How will SunTrust Park be funded?

The total budget for the new SunTrust Park is $672 million. This includes the SunTrust Park, parking and other related infrastructure. Atlanta Braves will be responsible for $372 million and the remaining $300 million will be contributed by Cobb County and the Cumberland Community Improvement District.

 

I heard that the county is not allowed to use revenue bonds to construct the SunTrust Park, is that correct?

Cobb County commission Chairman Tim Lee confirmed with legal experts that plans to fund the proposed SunTrust Park are well grounded.

"We have a top notch group of experts working together on this effort and I am confident that their guidance is right on target," said Cobb Commission Chair Tim Lee. "With experienced counsel representing both the county and the exhibit hall authority, as well as the county's own legal team, we are moving forward using a well-established funding process."

Cobb County Attorney Deborah Dance released the following statement in response to rumors to the contrary. "The County has been working closely with a team of attorneys that includes those specializing in the issuance of bonds and economic development projects. I have every confidence that the current plan for the issuance of revenue bonds by the Coliseum Authority and the execution of an intergovernmental agreement between the County and the Authority is a legal, permissible and appropriate way to address funding for the new SunTrust Park project. Statements to the contrary appear to be due to a lack of understanding of the structure of the transaction and the law, which has been established by the Georgia Supreme Court for decades. Many major development projects throughout the State, including Cobb's own Performing Arts Center, have successfully utilized just such a transaction structure over a number of years."

Has a cost/benefit analysis been conducted for the SunTrust Park deal and, if so, what is the projected return on investment (ROI)?

Summary Response: Estimates from a private fiscal benefits study that was performed by Brailsford & Dunlavey indicated that relocating the Braves to Cobb County will generate $212 million in earnings while the ballpark is built and $61 million in earnings for every year the ballpark is in operations. Recurring revenues from operating the ballpark that will impact the local economy consist of spending by visiting teams, fans, the Atlanta Braves, and ballpark operators. Brailsford & Dunlavey estimate this spending to result in approximately $4 million per year to the local government in tax collections. The addition of a mixed use development at an estimated investment of $400 million is projected to add an additional $6 million per year in property taxes, approximately $3 million of which would go to the Board of Education and $800,000 to the Cumberland CID. Existing property taxes that have been identified to support the County’s annual $17.9 million debt service cost on the SunTrust Park financing totals $8.67 million.

A $10 million dollar return from ballpark operations and property taxes on an investment of $8.67 million produces a positive projected return of investment (ROI) of 15%. This calculation does not include the increased economic activity for existing businesses and the expansion of new businesses. The ROI at this most conservative calculation generates a positive return for the county.

Who will pay for cost overruns on the SunTrust Park?

The Atlanta Braves will be responsible for all cost overruns.

What is the county’s financial responsibility on the maintenance and upkeep of the SunTrust Park?

The county will set aside a specific amount of money each year along with contributions from the Braves organization for repairs and maintenance. The county's total project maintenance obligation is capped at $35 million over the life of the agreement. Any upgrades and fan enhancement experience will be the financial responsibility of the Braves.

What will happen after the 30 year agreement?

SunTrust Park will be owned by Cobb County. The agreement is for the Atlanta Braves to lease the facility for 30 years with an option to extend for another five years.

Why can’t we use the money to hire more teachers and minimize the school system’s budget cuts?

Cobb County Government and the Cobb County School District are two separate entities and operate independently. Based on the proposed development by the Braves the Cobb County School District will receive more than $3 million in annual tax revenues that can be used for general operations, including adding more teachers.

Tax Impact

What will the boundaries of the new special tax district be and who will be included in the district?

Plans contemplate the establishment of a special ad valorem tax district in the vicinity of the Cumberland CID. The district will not include privately-owned single-family residences. The board plans to bring forward a resolution and amendments to the official Cobb County Code in January 2014 that will provide specific information on properties included in the district and also provide for public hearings.

Will my property taxes increase?

No. Property millage rate for homeowners will not be increased.

Will my property taxes be used to pay for this?

Currently .33 mills of your property taxes pay for the parks bonds that were issued in 1996, 2007 and 2008. The last of those bonds will be paid off in 2017 and 2018. The millage will then be shifted to the General Fund when these bonds expire to raise an equivalent amount of revenues of $8.67 million. Those monies will then be used to pay for bonds to finance SunTrust Park construction. The average amount of .33 mills per household is $26 per year and this shift of funding will not impact other government services such as police, libraries, parks and other services.

What is the tax impact of the proposed developments? What about sales tax revenues for the SunTrust Park?

In property taxes alone, the Braves’ plans for commercial and retail development worth $400 million that would generate $3 million in annual revenues for the school system, $489,000 to the county fire fund and $1.2 million towards county government operations.

Traffic and Public Safety

How will Cobb handle the congestion in the area?

We are currently working with Cobb County DOT and Georgia DOT to improve and enhance access points to the ballpark. For the 2014 season there will be 55 weeknight games, four of which are afternoon games.

Current roadway improvements include Windy Hill Diverging Diamond Interchange and corridor improvements extending from U.S. 41 to Powers Ferry - open to traffic first quarter 2017. 

Windy Hill Road West

This SPLOST 2011 project improves Windy Hill Road from US 41/Cobb Pkwy. to I-75 from five-lanes to a six-lane divided (raised landscaped median) urban typical section with curb, gutter and sidewalks. Traffic signals will be upgraded and all new pedestrian accommodations will be included.

Windy Hill Road East

This SPLOST 2011 project adds an eastbound lane to the current alignment from the bridge over Rottenwood Creek to Interstate North Pkwy/Spectrum Cir. The project, a 2005 SPLOST deferred project, will add an additional westbound lane from Interstate North Parkway/Spectrum Circle to Powers Ferry Road. Additional turn lanes will also be added to Windy Hill road east of Powers Ferry Road.

Cobb Parkway from Akers Mill to Paces Mill

Widening to six lanes currently under contract

Cobb Parkway/Chattahoochee River Bridge

Currently under construction

Northwest Corridor I-75 Managed lanes from I-285 north to the I-575 split and from I-575 to Hickory Grove Road and on I-575 from I-75 to Sixes Road

Open to traffic 2018

Other roadway improvements under consideration include development to potential Windy Ridge Parkway Connector, operational improvements in the area, Windy Hill - Terrell Mill Connector, Cobb Parkway/I-285 Diverging Diamond Interchange, Cobb Pkwy/Cumberland/Spring Road Split Diamond and I-285 access to Circle 75 Parkway roundabout.

Will we have mass transit in the area?

CobbLinc has five bus routes currently serving the Cumberland area. Routes begin, end, or go through the Cumberland Transfer Center with Route 10 servicing Cumberland the most, up to 50 times each weekday with limited service on Saturday, and no service on Sunday. Cumberland Transfer Center also services the Cumberland Mall, Costco, and is also the transfer point to MARTA bus service and additional CobbLinc routes passengers travel. MARTA Route 12 serves the Howell Mill Road/Cumberland area.

Are there roads that lead to the new ballpark?

There are 14 access points to and from the SunTrust Park area.

  • East: Terrell Mill Road, Windy Hill Road, Windy Ridge Parkway, I-285
  • North: Powers Ferry Road, I-75, Cobb Parkway
  • West: Windy Hill Road, Spring Road, I-285, Spring Hill Parkway, Cumberland Parkway
  • South: Cobb Parkway, I-75
Do we have enough police and fire personnel to protect and patrol the area?

Our commissioners are working with our public safety agency to assess and outline future law enforcement needs in the new ballpark. Meetings between the Braves and Public Safety officials have begun and will continue to evaluate any future needs. The expected revenues from the ballpark will help fund many of these positions. There are 81 home games per year and the additional public safety resources will benefit the county year round.

Stadium Timeline

Below is a list of items that will be accomplished leading up to the opening of the stadium. Completion dates are based on estimates as of April 25, 2014.

Items to be considered by the Board of Commissioners will appear on the commission meeting agenda prior to the meeting date. Agenda items for the stadium project will be included in the regular agenda and presented publicly. Board of Commissioner agendas are located here.

Spring 2014

  • Amend county codes to create special tax district, circulator fee, per night hotel room fee and rental car tax (Cobb Board of Commissioners approved)
  • RFP or RFQ to be issued for Construction Manager and Project Manager(Cobb Purchasing Department to issue)
  • Negotiation/Approval/Execution of Transportation and Infrastructure Agreement (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Stadium footprint determined (Atlanta Braves)
  • Permit and inspect plans for pipeline relocation (Cobb Community Development to issue)
  • Circulator design project awarded (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Process application for Rezoning to accommodate development surrounding stadium site (Cobb Community Development to review)
  • Public Safety discussions with Braves Security to assess public safety needs at stadium (Cobb DPS to lead)
  • Negotiation/Approval/Execution of Non-Relocation Agreement (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Negotiation/Approval/Execution of Intergovernmental Agreement (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Negotiation/Approval/Execution of Operating Agreement (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Negotiation/Approval/Execution of Development Agreement (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Stadium property conveyed from Braves to Coliseum Hall Authority (Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority Board to approve)

Summer 2014

  • Issue bonds for funding stadium project (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Project manager in place (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Process application for Development of Regional Impact Review (Cobb Community Development to review)
  • Pedestrian bridge bid package released (Cobb DOT)
  • Public Safety officials begin shadowing current stadium security officers to gather operational information on stadium security (Cobb DPS to lead)

Fall 2014

  • Pedestrian bridge bid awarded (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)
  • Circulator vehicle specs to be completed (Cobb DOT)
  • Drafting of plans for stadium and surrounding development security needs (Cobb DPS)

Spring 2015

  • Receive completed circulator study (Cobb DOT to receive)
  • Finalize public safety needs and operations plan for stadium and surrounding development (Cobb DPS)

Summer 2015

  • Windy Hill improvements bid package released (Cobb DOT to issue)
  • Order circulator vehicles (Cobb Board of Commissioners to approve)

Fall 2015

  • Windy Hill improvements bid awarded (Cobb Board of Commissioners)
  • Windy Hill improvements construction begins (Cobb DOT to issue)

Winter 2016

  • Windy Hill Improvements completed
  • Pedestrian bridge completed
  • Approve entertainment and vending ordinances for stadium and surrounding development

Spring 2017

  • Opening Day

Development Information and Documents

Public Safety

Traffic Management Plan

The Cobb County Police Department, in collaboration with the Cobb County Department of Transportation and other partners, has developed this traffic management plan (TMP) for events at Truist Park, with the following guiding principles:

  • Provide for safe, efficient vehicular and pedestrian arrival and departure;
  • Minimize traffic impacts to nearby neighborhoods, businesses and daily commuters;
  • Leverage extensive thoroughfare network which provides 14 points of access, including two interstates; and
  • Leverage the County's Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS).

The County's ATMS includes a Regional Transportation Management Center (TMC) and an adaptive traffic control system. The TMC will be linked with control centers in Truist Park and will facilitate a review of more than 200 traffic cameras to coordinate a rapid response to traffic needs. The adaptive traffic control system utilizes a central computer in the TMC to monitor traffic on every approach of every lane at every signalized intersection in the greater Cumberland/Galleria area to provide automatic traffic signal timing adjustments in real-time based on changes in traffic patterns.

This TMP will be reviewed and modified frequently over the course of the Braves' first season at Truist Park and periodically thereafter to incorporate changes in the area to include completion of roadway projects, new development, and changes in parking availability and traffic patterns.

Read the entire Traffic Management Plan (updated March 1, 2018)

Truist Park’s location allows for 14 major points of access, offering entry from all directions. The majority of traffic will arrive and depart using Interstate 75 (north/south) and Interstate 285 (east/west) and disperse to parking locations in advance of the “front door” to the ballpark. For example, traffic from the north can exit the interstate early and navigate directly to parking on the north side of Truist Park. Traffic will flow through a broader thoroughfare network rather than accumulate on a few roadways, allowing for improved travel times and minimized congestion.