By Mary Rose Taylor
While negotiations for the new Falcons stadium played out in headlines throughout the summer and early fall, an equally important dialogue regarding the Atlanta Braves was conducted behind the scenes at City Hall and without public knowledge or input. As a result, the Falcons’ agreement emerged as a win-win for all sides — team, city, county, state and neighborhoods — and the Braves agreement went up in flames.
That there were almost insurmountable challenges to renegotiating the Braves’ contract should come as no surprise to anyone involved in the stadium negotiations leading up to the 1996 Olympic Games. The trouble spots in that contract that find the city holding the short end of the stick include:
- The traditional sinking fund for the eventual overhaul of the stadium
- The definition of capital repairs and maintenance
- Recently publicized issues of public transportation to ease access
- Ongoing issues of neighborhood versus commercial