Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz spoke to the Atlanta Press Club last week, and said some rich guy shit that was so painfully lacking in self-awareness that it's hard to imagine him saying it without adjusting his monocle.
During his speech, Schuerholz admitted that the deal to move the Atlanta Braves into a new stadium in Cobb County, which was announced without warning back in November, would not have been possible if the public had gotten wind of it. From 11 Alive:
"It didn't leak out. If it had leaked out, this deal would not have gotten done," he said.
Schuerholz told press and business leaders in Atlanta that he couldn't have completed the Braves' deal with Cobb County in public.
"If it had gotten out, more people would have started taking the position of, 'We don't want that to happen. We want to see how viable this was going to be,'" Schuerholz said. "We were able to get that all done."
A quick recap of the Cobb County deal: 45 percent of the construction costs—about $300 million—will come from public money, and $260 million of that money will come from existing Cobb County property taxes. Since those funds—which could be spent on a lot of other things!—are coming from an already existing tax, the Braves were able to push the deal straight to the County Commission for approval without having to allow residents the chance to vote on a countywide referendum (that's only required when a new tax is introduced).
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So, yes, John Schuerholz is exactly right. If the public had learned that 300 million of their tax dollars would be given to the media company he works for so that it could build a fancy new stadium for his baseball team and that they were never going to get a say in the matter, there might have been some serious pushback against the deal. Imagine that.