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G-Braves to move to Pearl, MS

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Braves to end 20-year run in Greenville

By John Boyanoski

The Greenville Braves will move to Pearl, Miss. in 2005, city leaders said this afternoon.

The AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves will play this season at Greenville Municipal Stadium on Mauldin Road. The team moved to Greenville in 1984.

Last minute negotiations with the Atlanta Braves on a downtown ballpark and other issues failed, opening the way for Pearl, a suburb of Jackson, Miss.

Pearl has offered the Braves a fully financed stadium that will be ready for the 2005 season. A private developer is building the stadium, which is part of a 150-acre complex. The state of Mississippi is contributing highway funds for roads, and a portion of the sales tax collected there will be given to the developer,

There is no word yet whether Greenville will seek a new team.

Greenville City Council approved a proposal late Wednesday for an $18 million stadium partly financed by proceeds from naming rights, the sale of Municipal Stadium, and downtown infrastructure taxes. The proposal also included issuing a bond or borrowing money that would be repaid with future revenues such as seat taxes, stadium rentals and concessions.

City Manager Jim Bourey e-mailed the city's proposal to the Braves' Atlanta office late Wednesday. Officials did not disclose details.

White said the issue was how much the Braves were willing to contribute to the new stadium.

City leaders say they will still acquire the five acres proposed for the stadium from the school district. The city intends to make it a cornerstone for West End revitalization.

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