The Georgia Supreme Court sided with Cobb County in its legal fight over the construction of the new home of the Braves.
The ruling, released Monday morning, says the county is legally allowed to give $397 million in taxpayer-backed bonds for Suntrust Park. A total of $368 million of that money would go toward its construction.
The ruling states: “We conclude that the intergovernmental contract is valid; that the issuance of the bonds will not violate the Georgia Constitution’s debt limitation clause, gratuities clause, or lending clause or Georgia’s revenue bond laws; and that the process used to validate the bonds was not deficient.”
According to the AJC, The Braves issued a statement Monday saying: “We have been working diligently for months to prepare SunTrust Park for Opening Day of 2017. From the outset, we were confident that the process undertaken by our partners in Cobb County to issue the bonds was thorough and legally sound. We are pleased that the Georgia Supreme Court has validated the bonds and we look forward to delivering SunTrust Park and the surrounding mixed-use community to our fans, the people of Cobb County and the metro Atlanta region.”
A group opposing the payments had argued it goes against the Georgia Constitution, since Cobb County is using public money to give to a private corporation. In this instance, Liberty Media, who owns the Braves, is benefiting from that money.
The county argues the ballpark, near I-75 and I-285, will bring in more revenue for residents, while lowering property tax rates.
Suntrust Park is set to open in 2017.