Photo by Michael Buckelew
LAWRENCVILLE -- A parking charge at the Gwinnett stadium did little to dent the county's fund to pay for the minor-league park.
Finance Director Aaron Bovos said county officials expected to earn $200,000 a year from the parking fee, but only about $31,000 was received after the Triple-A team's inaugural season.
Despite the disappointing return, for which county officials have asked for an explanation, Bovos said the county has already made the 2009 payments on $33 million in bonds issued to build the $64 million stadium. And he expects the county to be able to cover payments for the next several years.
"It doesn't put us in a bad position until 2012 or 2013," Bovos said, noting that the county's car rental tax proceeds, expected to be $600,000 a year, came in at about $700,000.
Even though naming rights have not been sold as expected, the county also received $402,000 for the $1 ticket surcharges, $250,000 from the Braves and $400,000 from the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau. The revenues were about $300,000 less than the needed payment, he said, but in 2008, the county received a total of $1.6 million in revenues that can be used to make up the difference until the economy revives or another revenue source is found.
"There are so many different variables," Bovos said. "At this point, we're really not concerned about it."
Gwinnett Braves questions about the parking payment were referred to Atlanta, where officials weren't available for comment after hours.