An Atlanta-based Tea Party group has announced it will be lobbying to derail the Atlanta Braves’ upcoming move to the suburbs.
According to Jonathan Mahler of Bloomberg.com (h/t Sam Gardner of Fox Sports), a group called the Tea Party Patriots have taken issue with the team’s plans to build a new $672 million in the suburbs of Cobb County.
The new stadium will require over $300 million in taxpayer dollars—an allocation of funds the group says cannot be allowed without public consent.
“If Cobb County is allowed to get away with this,” said Debbie Dooley, Atlanta Tea Party Patriot leader, “you can bet other counties will do everything in their power to circumvent a vote by the people for something like this.”
The group is expected to file a lawsuit against the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, which voted 4 to 1 in November to approve the building of the new stadium.
The Tea Party Patriots’ response to the new stadium again raises the question of whether the public should chip in for privately owned enterprises such as the Braves. According to the group’s Facebook page (1,538 likes as of Thursday morning), their fears are that the team will ask for state funding and “public assistance” as the building process continues.
Tim Lee, chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commission, has guaranteed the building of hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and apartments to go along with the stadium. He says the plan is to use the stadium as a means to develop and bring business to Cobb County.
“A lot of folks in other markets, they use the stadium as a catalyst for development and then wait for it to show up,” Lee said (via Gardner). “It’s like building a roller coaster and hoping a Ferris wheel will come. We’re not doing that.”
The Braves' new stadium is scheduled to open in 2017, barring any major setbacks.
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