Mayor Reed speaks about Braves leaving Atlanta - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Mayor Reed speaks about Braves leaving Atlanta

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Mayor Reed addressed the community Tuesday after the Braves announced they will be relocating to Cobb County at the intersection of I-75 and I-285.

"I don't want folks at home to think we were taking the investment in the Atlanta Braves lightly," said Reed. "We weren't all.  We wanted the Braves to stay in Atlanta."

The mayor started his press conference clearing up any rumors that he knew about the deal to move the stadium before he was re-elected.

Reed said the decision not to fight to keep the Braves in Atlanta was largely a financial one.

"The bottom line is that the city was presented with a choice and that choice was encumbering between $150 million to $250 million debt and not having money to do anything else," explained Reed.

Mayor Reed said he understands that Cobb County offered the Braves a great deal.

"I'm as competitive as anybody else but Cobb presented them a terrific offer, and I'm not going to play this Atlanta versus Cobb game," said the mayor.

Reed said he made the decision not to interfere with the Braves' decision to move out of Atlanta.

"Everybody needs to take a breath. The Atlanta Braves will be playing in Atlanta for three more years," said Reed.

The mayor said when the Braves leave Turner Field, the city will build one of the largest developments for middle class residents to enjoy.

"At the end of the day, there was simply no way the team was going to stay in downtown Atlanta without city taxpayers spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make that happen. It is my understanding that our neighbor, Cobb County, made a strong offer of $450M in public support to the Braves and we are simply unwilling to match that with taxpayer dollars," said Reed.

The new location will be 12 miles away from Turner Field. Reed says because of the transportation issue, Cobb County will need a light rail to add connectivity.

"Let's just compliment Cobb County for making a great deal with the Braves," said Reed. "This is going to be positive."

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