Cobb County Government

Cobb County Board of Commissioners approves Sept. 9 closing of SunTrust Park bonds

(Marietta, Ga. – Sept. 8, 2015) In today’s Cobb Board of Commissioners’ meeting, commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the costs and transactions necessary to close the $376.6 million Cobb-Marietta Coliseum Project Series 2014 Bonds. The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority (CMCEHA) unanimously approved the final transaction last week. The closing for the bonds is scheduled for tomorrow and Wells Fargo is the underwriter. The bonds are backed by Cobb County.

The original 2013 projection of $24 million in annual debt service has come in at $22.4 million, $1.6 million less than 2013 expectations.

According to James Pehrson, CPA, Director/Comptroller, Cobb County Office of Finance and Economic Development, $368 million of the $376.6 million in bonds will be used to pay for the stadium project.

According to Pehrson, the county will spend approximately $2.8 million to issue the bonds. Vendors include: law firm Butler Snow for bond counsel ($1.5 million); law firm Moore, Ingram, Johnson and Steele ($175,000) and Sutherland Asbill & Brennen ($295,000) for Issuer’s counsel; financial advisor Public Financial Management ($500,000); the nation’s top three bond rating agencies, Fitch Ratings ($115,000), Moody’s ($94,500) and Standard and Poor’s ($94,500); Crace Galvis McGrath ($10,000) for auditing; CMCEHA ($3,500) for issuer expenses; U.S. Bank ($2,000) as the trustee and IPREO ($1,250) for distribution.

Wells Fargo will receive $5.5 million for the underwriter’s discount. According to Pehrson, Wells Fargo will purchase the bonds and U.S. Bank will serve as the project trustee to manage the account for Cobb County, Cumberland Community Improvement District (CID) and the Braves.

At the September 9th closing, approximately $103 million from the account will be remitted to the Atlanta Braves for reimbursement of the Braves advanced payments for the SunTrust Park stadium construction, including land, insurance and pipeline costs.

“The closing of the bond tomorrow is another successful step leading us to the opening of SunTrust Park in April 2017. Cobb County staff continues to diligently work together to keep this milestone project on track,” said David Hankerson, Cobb County Manager.

In late August, the nation’s top three rating agencies reaffirmed Cobb County’s “Triple Triple A” bond rating for the 19th consecutive year.