SunTrust Park, the Braves’ fancy new suburban stadium, came at a cost of nearly $400 million to Cobb County taxpayers. It doesn’t open until next year, but that bill is already coming due—and the opportunity cost is no longer theoretical.
In 2008, Cobb County approved $40 million to buy up land for public parks, in an attempt to meet the national standard. Residents were all for it—they approved the bond measure with 65 percent voting yes in a referendum. But that money hasn’t materialized, even after county commissioners somehow found hundreds of millions to fund the Braves’ ballpark—a move that they made sure wouldn’t come to a public vote.