Business property owners near the new Atlanta Braves stadium just found out they can’t charge people who want to park on “their” property.

Not only are these citizens being taxed to pay for the new stadium,  and not only are they being seriously inconvenienced every time there is a home game, but they are prohibited by law from trying to recoup some of these costs.

According to sources, the Atlanta Braves franchise makes nearly FIVE million each year in parking revenue.  But small business owners who might make a couple of thousand each season are apparently a danger to the Braves bottom-line.

Now keep in mind, the tax payers of the Atlanta area are spending $400 MILLION on this new stadium.

Also realize that many business owners near the stadium have had to spend thousands of dollars for increased security and fences because of the new traffic caused by the stadium.

Keep in mind as well, that property owners have experienced millions of dollars in damage to their structures following close games or championship series…

But the people who are footing the bill and who are exposed to the greatest risk of property damage are prohibited from earning back any of their potential losses thanks to the County Commissioners on behest of the Atlanta Braves Franchise.

The old stadium had direct access to the cities mass transit rail line, but the new one requires people to drive directly to the stadium.

Professional sports have become addicted to the public funding of stadiums.  Part of this is because professional sports franchises are not awarded by municipalities… they awarded by the committee of the owners, many of whom are addicted to municipal funding.

This means that municipalities who want professional sports in their town are not depending on market forces, but on a small number of franchise owners who want to make sure every franchise receives tax payer subsidies whether they need it or not – because if one doesn’t, their subsidies might be in jeopardy.

But the greed of these franchises doesn’t just expand to $20 hot dogs, now they want to make sure it is illegal for anyone who owns property to rent space unless the profits go to them.

The “no pay to park” plan was snuck in on the updated county code legislation.

The Atlanta Braves organization contacted businesses around the stadium to ask for support for $15 million of new taxes on them, but conveniently neglected to contact anyone when they snuck in a plan to make it illegal to pay to park.

The area surrounding the old stadium was 90% residential, the new stadium is built in an area which is heavily commercial properties… which also means there are very few voting constituents to worry about.

Even the lobbying group who represents the businesses that surround the new ball field didn’t know the restriction was being stuck in the package (most of which dealt with nuisance properties and grass heights).

Every property owner is prohibited from charging to park on their property within a half a mile from the stadium.  Amazingly enough, this was apparently agreed to three years ago when the preliminary agreement for the new stadium was approved.

BUT NO ONE TOLD THE CITIZENS AND TAX PAYERS.

The field of schemes’ assault on property rights is now an ongoing fight which is heading to court.

This is a cautionary tale for anyone who lives near an area where professional sports is planning to expand.