Because it’s a huge shock:
When they surprised the public with plans for a new ballpark for the minor-league Braves a year ago, Gwinnett County officials said the stadium would cost $40 million and would pay for itself from Day One.
Neither statement has come true.
So far, county commissioners have committed $31 million in taxpayer cash for the stadium. And in September, they approved increasing the ballpark’s cost by nearly 50 percent for amenities and changes, much of which aren’t required for the Braves to play ball.
Still, three of Gwinnett County’s top elected officials say they stand by their decision to put taxpayer money into the stadium —- which now carries a $64 million price tag —- even as they slash scores of county jobs and cut services amid a recession.
“Our board was completely unanimous on baseball Jan. 15 of last year, and I think our board will be completely unanimous on baseball today,” said Commissioner Bert Nasuti, the project’s chief proponent.
As expected, J.C. — who is quoted in the AJC article — is all over it at Sabernomics.
My question is why elected officials seem so willing to cite budget problems to cut or scale back useful stuff like bus service and recreation centers yet never feel the need to change course when these stadium deals turn into budgetary disasters, as they almost always do.