That was the message from team President John Schuerholz, who spoke Tuesday at the Vinings Business Association’s monthly lunch meeting at Social Vinings restaurant, saying the team will keep “Atlanta” in its name.
“When our decision had been made, we set up a meeting with the mayor,” he said of Kasim Reed. “Executive Vice President of Business Operations Mike Plant and I went to his office the day after his re-election, a resounding one. … I said, ‘Mayor, for  years the Braves have had a respected relationship with the city of Atlanta, and we’re here to advise you that we’re moving at the end of the team’s lease. We tried very hard. You tried very hard. It could not work for us. No one is to blame.’
“He was obviously shocked and stunned but very respectful. I told him we were running out of time. It takes three years to build a Major League stadium.”
The Braves announced their decision to move to Cobb Nov. 11. The Cobb County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 Nov. 26 to approve the move and to give the team $300 million in public funding for a new $672 million stadium.
Schuerholz said the Braves later this week are meeting with two architectural firms, what he calls the “finalists” for the new stadium job. He would not divulge the names of those companies.
Citing problems fans have had with gaining access to Turner Field and experiencing traffic in the process, Schuerholz said the Braves had hoped to make a deal with the city and Fulton County to remain in Atlanta but could not.
“We had respectful communication to the end, but it didn’t work out,” he said of the negotiations. “We asked them to give us a chance to develop the land around Turner Field and deal with the horrible access problems we have.”
During a question-and-answer session following Schuerholz’s speech, one association member mentioned the New York Yankees taking advantage of amortized costs with Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement when they opened the new Yankee Stadium in 2009. He asked if the Braves would do that also with their new facility.
“Absolutely,” said Schuerholz, a Vinings resident.
Earlier he talked about the success the Braves have had, the excitement surrounding this year’s team and the support Cobb has given the franchise.
“You’ve heard from [Commission Chairman Tim] Lee and [District 2 Commissioner Bob] Ott who were so vital to help the Braves development to take place,” Schuerholz said of the officials attending the luncheon. “If it wasn’t for the great support of Tim Lee and the Cobb Commission, we would not be here.”
In other news, the association announced its 2014 officers. They are: President Todd Ash, President-Elect Katrina Kaiser, Chairman Glenn Christian, Vice President/Membership Richard Block, Treasurer Chris Heuser and Secretary Bill Borden.