Local Atlanta officials have said the MLB’s decision to move its July 13 All-Star Game will cost the region an estimated $ 100 million in lost tourism dollars. But the decision to move the event is also a financial swing and a failure for the baseball league.
Indeed, MLB officials have signed partnership contracts with Georgian companies and sites in Cobb County for All-Star Game services, such as the Omni Hotel in Battery Atlanta and the Cobb Galleria Center, according to reports. local tourism and chamber of commerce officials. According to the Cobb County Travel and Tourism Bureau, some 8,000 local hotel rooms have been reserved for officials and league fans through contracts with the MLB.
Those contracts likely had cancellation clauses requiring MLB to pay a fee for not going ahead with the game in Atlanta, sports management experts have said. What is not clear is how much total money these local businesses have billed MLB and whether the Baseball League has ever paid them.
The Cobb Galleria Center was scheduled to host an interactive MLB exhibit during the week-long All-Star celebration. The event space has not decided how much it will charge the league for its withdrawal, a Galleria official told CBS MoneyWatch. The Omni Hotel did not respond to requests for comment.
MLB moved the game afterin the electoral voting rules. The changes have been labeled by Democrats as a deliberate attempt to remove voters of color. Republicans across the state say the changes will help ensure the integrity of the election.
Shortly after the voting changes were passed, civil rights activists and dozens of black business leaderslike Delta Air Lines and UPS to publicly denounce the legislation. They too the All-Star Game, also known as the Midsummer Classic, in Denver, Colorado.
MLB did not respond to requests for comment on the cost of moving the game to the league.
Taxpayers on the hook
The event’s cancellation also means Georgia is missing out on the revenue the MLB All-Star Game would have generated to repay funding for the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park stadium. According to the bond documents, Cobb County taxpayers are at the mercy if the stadium’s income is not sufficient to repay the principal and interest of the $ 392 million in bonds issued in 2015 to help build the facility, located approximately 10 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CBS This Morning she was concerned MLB was one of the many events this year that could leave Georgia due to voting changes. Atlanta is the nation’s 10th largest economy and among the biggest losers in the MLB decision are working-class Georgians, Bottoms said.
“It is hurting our state’s economy and it’s not good for anyone no matter which side of the aisle you are on,” she said.