Philanthropist and media mogul Ted Turner, the former owner of the Atlanta Braves, said Wednesday that he would not have moved the baseball team to Cobb County, and theorized the club’s owners will rake in big bucks for the naming rights to the new venue.
Turner has so far declined comment about the Atlanta Braves plans to leave Turner Field in downtown Atlanta in favor of a new $672 million stadium to be built in Cobb County, says the SaportaReport. The Braves should open their 2017 season at the new stadium.
The stadium would be run by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, which also operates the Cobb Galleria Centre and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in the Cumberland area.
But at Wednesday’s 2014 Georgia Technology Summit, Turner shared his views about plans to move the team out of Atlanta to Cobb.
“I never would have done it,” Turner said of a move. “They tried to get me to move the Hawks and I didn’t do it.”
The Braves currently play in a facility that was built as the Olympic stadium when Atlanta hosted the Summer Games in 1996. That stadium has since been called Turner Field — in recognition of either Ted Turner or Turner Broadcasting or both, says Saporta’s blog.
Turner was asked whether he felt sentimental about the likely demolition of the existing stadium.
“The one in Cobb is not going to be named after me,” Turner said. “That’s probably why they want to do this. They can make a lot of money selling the naming rights.”
As he was leaving the Cobb Galleria site where the technology summit was held, Turner noted: “It looks like getting into the Atlanta stadium is going to be a lot easier than getting to a stadium here.”
A Common Cause Georgia board member said recently that Cobb County officials were not as straightforward as they should have been about the total public cost of a new Atlanta Braves Stadium, which will be double what has been publicized.
Common Cause board member Terry Taylor told WABE Radio that while county officials acknowledged annual payments of more than $17 million with interest over 30 years, they did not use that total in their official communications. Instead, Taylor says county officials have cited $300 million as the public cost of the project. With interest, maintenance costs and other expenses, Taylor says Cobb taxpayers will be forced to pay at least twice that amount.