The industry standard these days is for professional sports teams to pay if local police forces are needed for traffic control and such on game day. It wasn’t always that way, but it has trended that way over time. Today the vast majority of teams either reimburse municipalities for police work or else that cost is accounted for in rent payments on publicly-owned stadiums.
The Atlanta Braves don’t pay for traffic control in their new home in Cobb County, however. Not because they drove a hard bargain or anything, though. They don’t because the Cobb County government didn’t think to ask or demand them to pay. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The stadium operating agreement between the Braves and Cobb County is silent about the county’s obligation to pay for traffic control, and two Cobb commissioners told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the issue was never discussed publicly.
It wasn’t discussed, it seems, because the Cobb County folks just made an assumption. And the Braves, apparently, did nothing to disabuse them of their assumption. Here’s the recently-retired county manager who participated in the new stadium deal:
“That’s news to me because … we were told that the Braves would take care of everything inside the stadium and Atlanta took care of everything outside the stadium,” Hankerson said. “If it was something different, this is the first time I’ve heard of it.”
We’ve been pretty critical of the Braves in connection with their new ballpark over the past couple of years, but this one is all on Cobb County. Sounds like they got had.