Cobb County residents sound off about Braves move - KMSP-TV

Cobb County residents sound off about Braves move

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Concerned Cobb County residents packed a meeting on Thursday to sound off about the Atlanta Braves' plans to build a new stadium in their neck of the woods.

Passionate residents for and against the plan stood up to make their voices heard in front of the Cobb County Commission.

For the first 45 minutes, the open microphone at the town hall meeting was dominated by opponents of the new stadium. They raised concerns about a variety of issues including increased taxes, building an entertainment complex on the backs of poor minority students, traffic congestion and government partnering with a private organization -- the Braves.

For many there are too many unanswered questions to rush the project forward.

In responses to a question about the public's say in the matter, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee said, "Well the public has been voicing their opinion for the last two weeks and pretty much...the tide is turning to a very positive support."

Lee said a new stadium will bring hundreds of jobs, additional tax money for schools and increase tourism dollars.

Under the proposal, Cobb County will be responsible for 45 percent of the $672 million stadium. Lee said the Braves are also committed to a $400 million entertainment complex next to the stadium.

While fewer supporters of the plan stepped up to the mic, there were plenty in the audience of about 200.

"I can honestly say this is the best, the biggest news that has happened to Cobb County," Butch Thompson said.

Supporters of the plan wore t-shirts and signs were courtesy of businessman John Loud, who is also paying for new commercials and billboards with the same message.

"We want to make sure the supporters in Cobb are just as loud and vocal as folks who've had concern along the way," Loud said.

The town hall meeting was sponsored by Commissioner Helen Goreham, who said it was planned before the Braves plan was announced.

Three town hall meetings are planned before the Board of Commissioners votes on the proposal, which is scheduled to happen on Nov. 26.

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