Cobb County negotiator speaks out about Braves deal

by: Dave Huddleston Updated:

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. - For the first time, Channel 2 Action News talked to Cobb County's negotiator who put together the plan to move the Atlanta Braves.

Brooks Mathis is vice president of economic development for the Cobb Chamber. Only Mathis and County Chairman Tim Lee were involved in early conversations with the Braves in July.

Mathis said he remembers when team officials called.

"I think we were caught off guard and very surprised," Mathis told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston.

Mathis said he talked with Braves officials twice a week for two months as they worked on a deal.

Details of the $672 million deal were released this week. $300 million of the total price for a new stadium will be paid for by the county through business taxes and fees.

"The people that stand to benefit from this location of the stadium and the mixed use development are going to be the ones that help fund this," Mathis said. "Everything was done on current projections. That's why we feel confident that obviously there's going to be growth and we did not project any of that in the formulas that (were) put out for the funding of this project."

Mathis said the only thing left to complete the deal is for county commissioners to approve it.

"We have the commissioners on board, I know some are still reviewing and researching to make sure and listen to their constituents, I know it's what they wanted do to and are doing that and will be making their decisions on Nov. 26."