By any standards other than the federal government, the Braves deal is a big one. The Cobb Board of Commissioners is expected to vote in less than two weeks. The Cobb Government, the Board of Commissioners, and the Board of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority are not accustomed to this kind of thing and, realistically, are woefully unprepared to negotiate any deal.
The Braves, literally and figuratively, know how to play hardball. The Cobb Chamber of Commerce can be expected to cheer for a deal of any kind. The Cumberland CID is reliably unconcerned about the everyday folks in Cobb and should be expected to push the deal, as they expect to benefit as property owners in the area. Any negotiations will be lambs vs. lions, with wolves alongside cheering for the lions.
The short timeframe is very worrisome. There are so many things to evaluate and understand that two weeks would be a rush for experienced deal makers. Cobb doesn’t have experienced deal makers.
Cobb should engage independent advisors who know how to evaluate this project before anyone signs anything. They should be charged to evaluate all elements with their emphasis on protecting Cobb taxpayers. 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.
Hire them, quickly. If it can’t be done by Nov. 26, then set a new date. Our commissioners can buy a lot of mules for $100 million.