Braves execs say it's 'business as usual' following spinoff

ATLANTA -- Braves executives say business will continue as usual under a new ownership structure following a spinoff from Liberty Media.

Perhaps most notable is fans will be able to purchase stock in the newly created Atlanta Braves Holdings Inc. and become owners of the team.

Plans for the spinoff were announced last year and made final in a vote by Liberty stockholders, led by chairman John Malone, on Monday.

Braves chairman Terry McGuirk and president Derek Schiller will continue in their lead roles in the team and The Battery Atlanta, the mixed-use development adjacent to Truist Park that includes business, a hotel, restaurants, a concert venue and other properties.

"So no surprises here, no changes really," McGuirk said Tuesday. "The purpose here today is we absolutely want to tell you that it's business as usual. There are no changes to how we operate. I am still the control person of the team."

The mantra of business as usual also was relayed by general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who said he has been given approval to spend before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

"Basically the same trade deadline conversation I've had with them all the time," Anthopoulos said. "'Hey, what do you think about adding payroll?' A quick yes. Payroll has climbed each year because of the way the operation is going with the fan base and the business side doing a great job. Things are exactly the same.

"Payroll has gone up every year. I've always had money at the trade deadline. It's great. No changes on our end."

Attendance has climbed each year since the Braves opened Truist Park in 2017, including last season's total of 3,129,931. Profits also have risen, especially after the Braves' 2021 World Series championship, the first for the franchise since 1995.

The split from Liberty Media could make it easier for the Braves to be sold to a private buyer.

"There's been no conversations and no indications whatsoever of that direction," McGuirk said.

This season's average attendance of 39,265 ranks third in the majors and is the Braves' highest since 2000.

The profits have enabled the team to sign many of its core players to long-term contracts.

Now fans will have an opportunity to claim a piece of the team.

"It's a unique novelty where if you're a fan of this team, you can also become an owner of the team and own stock," Schiller said. "That in a way is very exciting.

"It maybe connects a further connection fans can have with their team. They can come here and follow us and by the way, at least today, for about the cost of a ticket you can buy a piece of the Atlanta Braves. That unto itself is pretty interesting and may be fun to watch."