The Braves and Cobb County are shaking down parking lot owners now

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The Braves stadium boondoggle continues apace. Via Deadspin and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution we learn that they’ve gotten their lapdogs in the Cobb County government to ban the operation of private parking lots in the vicinity on game days. Why? For “safety” reasons, of course.

I’m sure this has nothing to do with the Braves wanting to suck up as much parking revenue as possible for fans heading to their money-printing machine of a ballpark. A ballpark not served by public transportation. And of course, as with most things relating to this ballpark, it was done with zero transparency. Per the AJC, there was “no public discussion of the parking ordinance beyond the title being read into the record.”

There are some 10,000 private parking places near the stadium potentially affected by this ordinance. By sheer, gobsmacking coincidence, the Braves are currently negotiating leases with the owners of many of these parking lots, so they can get a cut of the parking revenue. In essence, this is a shakedown. While polite and legal, this is functionally no different than the mob walking through a neighborhood and demanding a wad of cash from each shopkeeper’s till for protection money. Oh, sorry, “safety” money. Except, instead of breaking kneecaps, they’re getting Cobb County to pass ordinances in order to extract payment.

There hasn’t been a single aspect of this move out of Turner Field that shows the Braves and Cobb County to be concerned about anything other than maximizing revenues for the Atlanta Braves. It’s pathetic. Simply rotten.