A libertarian former congressional write-in candidate has begun a website opposing the stadium proposal. DeKalb resident Loren Collins is calling the site 300 Million Reasons -- reflecting the amount of money Cobb County is committing to the $672 million project -- and to underscore his opposition to taxpayer-financed stadiums:
"There is still NO financial plan, NO proposed lease, and NO public meetings for discussion. Despite all of this, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners insists holding a single, binding vote just TWO WEEKS after the announcement."
There's a link to a change.org petition, and information on how to contact commissioners before the vote.
Very late on Friday afternoon, Cobb government officials released an outline of transportation plans in and around the proposed stadium site (see PDFs), showing 14 access points and detailing current and future construction projects that have already been approved for the area.
One proposed feature is a system of golf-like trams that will deliver fans between the stadium and their cars that parked around the Cumberland area -- such as the Cobb Galleria Centre, hotels and office parks.
Only 6,000 parking spaces are being envisioned at the stadium site, the bulk of which will be taken up by a mixed-use development built by the Braves.
The AJC calls it "Disney World on the Chattahoochee," and quotes Cumberland Community Improvement District chairman Tad Leithead as saying the area has an estimated 50,000 parking spaces.
As for the commission vote, The Marietta Daily Journal's "Around Town" political insider column says Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee's strongest supporters for the moment are commissioners Helen Goreham and JoAnn Birrell.
The same column suggests that Bob Ott -- who represents the Cumberland area and who said he is withholding comment while he studies the proposal -- has been "targeted" as a "political pawn" by downtown Atlanta political and business interests who want to delay the vote.
Also in the MDJ, former commission chairman candidate Larry Savage wrote a letter expressing concern about the short timeframe for approving the stadium deal, and urged Cobb to seek outside financial advisers before signing anything:
"This is not a suitable occasion for our local politicians to strut false bravado. We need smart, knowledgeable, experienced professionals to sort this thing out."Neil de Mause, of "Field of Schemes" -- a book and blog that's critical of public funding of sports facilities -- says the reallocation of "existing" property tax revenues proposed by Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee is really an extension of that initial tax hike for another 30 years.
As for local businesses in the Cumberland CID that will be levied additional taxes, not all of them are sure they'll benefit. Some, including a pizzeria owner interviewed by CBS Atlanta, think it may actually hurt them by drawing away business to the Braves' self-contained complex with shops and restaurants.