ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - The Supreme Court of Georgia has unanimously upheld a superior court judge's ruling that authorized up to $397 million in bonds to build a new Braves baseball stadium.
In today's 43-page opinion, Justice David Nahmias writes for the Court that “we conclude that the intergovernmental contract is valid; that the issuance of the bonds will not violate the Georgia Constitution's debt limitation clause, gratuities clause, or lending clause or Georgia's revenue bond laws; and that the process used to validate the bonds was not deficient. We therefore affirm the trial court's judgment validating the stadium project bonds.”
According to briefs filed in the case, in 2013, representatives of Cobb County, the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority, and the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. began discussing plans to build a 41,500-seat stadium for the Braves.
On May 27, 2014, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved the issuance of the bonds by the Authority, and the parties signed several agreements which are the basis of the project. The new stadium will be built on land acquired by the Authority and will be a public-private partnership with an estimated cost of $622 million. The Authority will issue up to $397 million in bonds to pay the public share of building the new stadium, which will be located in the Cumberland area near the interchange of I-75 and I-285 in northwest Atlanta.
The new “SunTrust Park,” as it has been named, will replace Turner Field located in downtown Atlanta. In addition to borrowing up to $397 million to cover $368 million in construction costs plus borrowing costs and interest on the debt, the County plans to raise $14 million for transportation improvements and $10 million from businesses in the Cumberland Community Improvement District. The Braves will contribute $230 million.