The Cobb County Commission voted 4-1 in favor of the new Atlanta Braves stadium at tonight’s meeting. Commissioner Chairman Tim Lee and Commissioners Joann Birrell, Bob Ott and Helen Goreham voted in favor, while Commissioner Lisa Cupid was the lone dissenting vote.
The board heard from residents for more than hour, many in opposition to the plan, before taking a vote on the issue. Many encouraged the board to delay the vote for 60 days or to hold a public referendum on the issue.
Commissioner Lisa Cupid said she was not against the Braves coming to Cobb, but said she still had concerns. “I can certainly understand why the public has issues with their tax dollars being committed for 30 years,” Cupid said. “I believe this could have been a win-win if we had only taken more time.”
Cupid said even if she’d had 14 more days, she might have come on board, and mentioned threats she had received if she didn’t vote in favor of the stadium. “I will not be bullied,” Cupid said.
Commissioner Joann Birrell said bringing the Braves to Cobb was an “opportunity of a lifetime” and was voting in favor. Commissioner Bob Ott specifically brought up traffic and said $580 million in traffic improvements happening in the area around the stadium, which should help alleviate some of the concerns.
Chairman Tim Lee thanked the Braves for bringing the stadium proposal to Cobb and said it was an economic boost for the county that was “second to none.” The board voted to approve a “memorandum of understanding” with the Braves to build the $672 million stadium and entertainment complex near the intersection of I-285 and I-75.