Who could have seen that coming? Final vote gives the official green light to the Atlanta Braves to break ground and begin construction on their future Spring Training facility in Sarasota, Florida; with an estimated cost 33% higher than originally expected
I can’t cross-reference on the fly like I used to because another shocker of the century, my site is still down, but I’m pretty sure that when the Braves originally claimed an estimated price tag of $75M for their new Spring Training digs, I immediately stated that the actual price tag should be somewhere in the neighborhood of like $120M, because that’s just how sporting venues work; they estimate low to make it not sound completely terrible, miss the mark entirely, but proceed anyway, and leave the egregious amounts of difference up to taxpayers to make up.
“The project now carries a price tag of $100.56 million, according to financing documents provided to North Port commissioners, up from the previous estimate of $75 million to $80 million.”
Yeah, that’s not a surprise at all. I’ll be more surprised if these numbers don’t manage to crawl and creep up closer to the $120M that I had estimated, because lord knows if the Braves are good at one thing at all, it’s usurping funds out of unsuspecting taxpayers and wasting it on shit that benefits only them and gives nothing back to those it’s coming from.
It’s stated that the taxpayer contributions aren’t changing at all in spite of the increased estimates, but they’re completely failing to account for interest and inflation that isn’t just going to go away in the life of whatever haphazard loans being taken out. Make no mistake, the taxpayers of Sarasota County will be on the hook for anything that isn’t mentioned or accounted for, while the Braves will pay absolutely no more than what they’re obligated to pay on paper, and that’s before the inevitable off-setting of the eventual naming rights of their facility.
Sure, the Braves may have had to negotiate and likely share money with Disney in order to use the Wide World of Sports to train at every year, but at least they had a majestic sounding Spring Training ballpark, Champion Stadium. When they move to Sarasota, and become the whores they are to the dollar, I hope they sell to something lame like some rich attorneys or some insurance company. Be like “Vengroff, Williams & Associates Stadium, Spring Training home of the Atlanta Braves.”
Ironically, there is actually one company based out of Sarasota, that I’d be pretty stoked if they got the naming rights to the Braves: Boar’s Head Provisions, as in the lunch meat company. “Boar’s Head Stadium” or “Boar’s Head Field” would sound pretty awesome in a combination of carnal, since the company is basically named after a decapitated wild pig, but also in the fact that it’s a lunch meat company. It would almost be like a weak American equivalent to the Nippon Ham Fighters to some degree.
I’d guess that whomever wins the naming rights, will do something like $20M for ten years or some shit like that, which brings the Braves’ estimated contributions to the construction of the facility down to like $35M, to which there’s no way they’re happy having to contribute even that. They’d be salty about having to pay for the catered lunches at all these budget meetings, they’re so cheap.
Whatever though, although the green light is lit, I suspect that this isn’t the last we’ll hear of financial figures and controversy as it pertains to the Braves and Sarasota. Whether it’s stuff like hurricane damages, or just the usual greed and corrupt pocket lining, the budget will inevitably rise a little bit more, and by the time we’re all said and done, I think I have a really good chance of landing at the $120M that I had originally estimated (I think), because that’s what the Braves do; bilk taxpayers and act like stadiums actually benefit the local economies they invade.