Gwinnett Braves struggle to fill Coolray Field

This coming Friday, the AJC’s Opinion pages will spotlight an economic sports issue, discussed in a Sept. 2 AJC story: “The Gwinnett Braves struggling to fill Coolray Field.”

According to writer David Wickert,  on average, less than half of Coolray’s 10,427 seats are filled when the Gwinnett Braves  play at home in Lawrenceville.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. A consultant’s study used by county officials to justify spending $64 million on the stadium said Gwinnett’s demographics and economy made it “one of the strongest markets in the country to support a minor league baseball team.” Instead, the Gwinnett Braves rank 24th out of 30 AAA teams in average attendance this year.

The team’s poor showing has implications for Gwinnett taxpayers. The county gets $1 for every ticket sold and half the net parking proceeds – money it uses to help repay $33 million borrowed to build the stadium.

We’d like to know what you think about this economic state of affairs. If you respond below, your comment could appear in print this coming Friday.

6 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

September 7th, 2011
9:18 am

Duh! With a major league team just down the Interstate, what did you expect. Besides they used a consultant who knew what they wanted to hear!

Marty

September 7th, 2011
9:10 am

Economist J.C. Bradbury predicted all of this before they even started building the stadium. In fact, the AJC quoted him to that effect at the time. Why is this surprising?

indigo

September 7th, 2011
8:53 am

It isn’t just the Gwinnett Braves who are struggling. Many sports events are showing lower attendance rates since the recession started. Until this recession is over, and the unemployment rate drops significantly, these lower attendance rates will continue.

Marlboro Man

September 6th, 2011
11:49 pm

The Braves pay pitchers with losing records 15 million a year and the county builds them a playpen. You boys got took.

Eric

September 6th, 2011
9:42 pm

I agree with John Corn–Gwinnett has its priorities all wrong! Think of all the jobs that could have been saved or created, public services provided, fair raises, etc. But no, you citizens of Gwinnett are using your tax dollars to subsidize the Atlanta Braves farm system. As if the Braves needed more money these days! What a deal!

John Corn

September 6th, 2011
8:23 pm

Gwinnett County government should be ashamed. The commissioners spent money like it was going out of style. Now the commissioners are giving employees furlough days and retiring employees early. These are just a couple of things the commissioners have done and are still doing to affect the county’s most valuable asset, It’s employees. Taxpayers need to vote all of the commissioners out and not wait for them to be indicted.