Some provocative findings turned up in a poll by SurveyUSA for WXIA-TV, released last week. The survey of 500 residents in 10 metro counties found 46 percent supported the Braves moving to Cobb, 43 percent opposed the move and 11 percent were not sure. But, not encouraging for the commissioners, 54 percent of respondents said too little time was allowed between the announcement two weeks ago and the impending Tuesday vote.
What about the financing with Cobb paying 45 percent, or about $300 million, of the cost of the new $672 million stadium at the intersection of I-75 and I-285? On that burning question for Cobb citizens, perhaps surprisingly, nearly half of the metro area respondents supported the deal. The results: 46 percent said it was a good deal, 37 percent said it was a bad deal and 17 percent were not sure.
Another question produced results that were probably not surprising, since most Braves fans are concentrated in the northern arc of metro Atlanta: “If the Braves do move to Cobb County, would you be more likely to attend Braves games?” While 29 percent said they would be more likely, 35 percent said “less likely,” and 35 percent said it would make no difference. So that’s 64 percent positive.
The survey also found much stronger sentiment in the city of Atlanta for fixing up Turner Field to keep the Braves than for building a new Atlanta Falcons stadium, which has been agreed to by the city and the team. On that question, 49 percent of the Atlanta residents polled said it was more important to renovate Turner Field, while 38 percent said the same about building a new Falcons stadium, and 13 percent were unsure.
And, contrasting the anti-Braves stadium push in Cobb, a majority of a sampling of 106 Atlanta residents, 51 percent, said they would want their city to try to keep the Braves, even if it meant higher taxes. Opposing that idea was 37 percent with 12 percent unsure.
Now what about sentiment in Cobb? The survey asked 130 Cobb residents if the county should use tax money for the new stadium. The results: 58 percent said no, 33 percent said yes, and 9 percent was not sure. That was close to the findings by Lincoln Park Strategies of Washington, D.C. from its survey of 750 likely Cobb voters, showing 54 percent opposed using tax money, as Around Town reported Saturday, but significantly, a survey by 20/20 Insight for Revitalize Marietta showed a whopping 61 percent of Republican households in Cobb backed the Braves move here, and that’s the voting base of the Cobb commission.
And that undoubtedly will strongly influence the deciding “poll” of tomorrow’s Board of Commissioners vote.