The league is open to reviewing the plan.
It appears that sports owners are in a rush to build the next The Battery, the stadium-village that Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves’ ownership built in Cobb County, Georgia. The Battery cost local taxpayers at least $300 million in helping John Malone’s company build the stadium for his team and a surrounding village. People are now proclaiming that the stadium-village is making money for Cobb County. Economists can spin numbers in whatever direction or misdirection they want. Not hard to come up with different sets of numbers. What will be the next The Battery? Possibly The Gathering in Alpharetta, Georgia. A proposed arena-village about 30 miles from downtown Atlanta. The National Hockey League has twice failed in Atlanta.
The NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has admitted the league is watching what is happening in Alpharetta. “There are potential markets that may be suitable for NHL hockey, so our policy is really an open-door policy. If you are interested and have a plan, come see us and certainly we’ll evaluate it from there. If it becomes something our owners are interested in, we can pursue it. Nothing has risen to that level currently, but that could change. Some of the challenges that we’ve seen in the past in Atlanta can be overcome. I think times have changed pretty dramatically and the market demographics have changed pretty dramatically since the first time we went there and then again in 1999. I think a lot of bigger businesses are in Atlanta. The NHL put a franchise in Atlanta but the Flames’ owners had money woes and sold the franchise to Calgary interests in 1980 after eight seasons. The NHL expanded into Atlanta in 1999 that team died because of a succession of awful ownership starting with a hostile takeover of Ted Turner’s company by Time Warner. The team ended up in Winnipeg in 2011.
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