by: Lori Geary Updated:ATLANTA —
Gov. Nathan Deal is weighing in on the possible move by the Atlanta Braves from Atlanta to Cobb County.
Braves executives and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed went to the state capital Wednesday for a closed-door meeting with Deal.
Deal said he too was taken by surprise by the announcement from the Braves that they would be moving to Cobb County, but said he was given a heads up about a day earlier than everyone else.
He called the move primarily a private venture with no state involvement.
"We are a very interested observer," Deal said about the move.
Deal made it clear the state is playing no role when it comes to the Atlanta Braves moving to Cobb County.
"I have no opinion on that. I don't want to get into a fight between once county versus another county," Deal said.
Deal said he acted only as a facilitator in the 10-minute meeting asked for by Reed and Braves execs.
"It was mainly just an opportunity for the mayor to sit down with them and discuss very, very briefly what their plans were," Deal said.
Cobb County officials have been mum on the deal that would bring the $672 million project to the area just off Interstate 75 and the interstate north parkway.
Reed said team officials told them Cobb County would pay about $450 million. Cobb leaders said that number is inflated.
"Did you see any documentation, any memorandum of understanding?" Geary asked Deal.
"Nobody game me any documentation or anything like that. I haven't seen anything in writing," Deal said.
Deal said he could assure state taxpayers there would be no money in his budget for a Braves stadium.
Geary asked Deal if any Department of Transportation money might be involved in the deal.
"Anytime you're dealing with major transportation projects, DOT money could be involved but to my knowledge, there's been no request for that and I don't have any reason to expect that's going to happen. Certainly not anytime soon," Deal said.
Deal also said he's glad the Braves are staying in Georgia.