Study finds Cobb residents are paying $15 million dollars to run Truist Park home of Atlanta Braves

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 10:09 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - It’s been five years since the Braves landed in Cobb County and are the current World Champs.

A new study from a Kennesaw State University Economics professor shows while everyone in the state is still basking in the Braves world series glory, the promised economic boom to the county the stadium would bring is more like a foul ball than a homerun.

“What I’ve tried to do is do a comprehensive look at revenues that have come into Truist Park and what return the county is getting,” said J.C. Bradbury, a Professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University. “So, I’ve looked at things like property values which generate sales tax, and sales near the stadium and sales tax revenue. And I find that in total that the county is running a deficit of about $15 million a year paying for the stadium obligations, which translates to about $50 per household income every year.”

The former Cobb County Commission Chairman touted with bringing the stadium to the county, Tim Lee, originally said the stadium would realize a 60% annual return on investment for the county and called it homerun, saying it would be the first public private partnership in a stadium to result in a return in its first year.

“Don’t tell me it’s making me richer that’s the part I’m checking in on the promises that were made that this was going to be a huge economic engine within the county,” Bradbury said.

He’s a Braves fan himself, and said he did account for the pandemic in his study and says no stadium in the US is profitable.

“This is a public service that is being provided and taxpayers need to determine whether this is something worth paying for.”

Cobb residents CBS46 spoke with were split on the cost to run the stadium.

“Overall the Battery is going to be and continues to be a net positive for South Cobb,” said Ben Stahl, born and raised in Cobb.

“Right now I’m ok with it because I’m here a lot but I feel like at some point that will grow on me ah,” said Miles Harris, a Cobb resident since 2020.

In response to the study the county sent the following statement.

We are well-aware of Mr. Bradbury’s long-running thesis and do not believe it is in our best interest to continue trying to debate data to data. It is unfortunate he decided to crunch his numbers following more than two years of a pandemic which greatly impacted so many sectors of the community and paused the tremendous momentum felt throughout the county from this project.