SunTrust Bank announced plans to intervene in the escalating costs of their namesake baseball stadium being built for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County, Georgia. With citizen anger escalating in the wake of revelations about construction overruns, the bank has devised an innovative strategy to help defray any liability to county taxpayers using a special Overdraft Fee tier.
“It’s already being called ‘Overdraft Field’ and ‘NSF Stadium,’” an unidentified SunTrust official reportedly said during a closed-door meeting with Cobb County Commissioners. “Why not let the stadium live up to its name and shift the construction burden off the backs of taxpayers and those customers of ours who are least likely to complain?”
According to sources close to the situation, the new fee, unofficially nicknamed the “Lee Fee” in honor of Cobb County Commissioner and stadium deal architect Tim Lee, is to be a super-escalated $200 per transaction posted against an overdrawn account. One source stated the original concept was actually a bit more draconian in nature.
“The company’s top dogs were originally considering the make the cost of the fee higher if customers held lower average balances,” this source is reported to have said. “Why stick it to our best customers? Let’s force this cost onto our least-motivated customers. We can afford to lose a few hundred penny accounts. Now a billionaire or two? That’s a different story.”
Unconfirmed reports state the original fee schedule would be $300 per transaction for anyone with a balance of $200 or lower daily after the first three overdrafts, $200 per transactions for anyone with a daily balance of $300, and the industry-standard $40 for anyone with a daily balance of $1,000 or more. Those with running balances in the six-figures would enjoy no overdraft fees, whatsoever. All fees raised would go directly into an “Contingency Offset Fund” the bank would release to the Braves in exchange for ownership shares in the club.
Tim Lee was unavailable for comment, but even sources close to him say they were stunned to learn he wouldn’t receive any sort of compensation from the Braves. SunTrust Park is scheduled to open in 2017 on the corner of Interstates 285 and 75 in Cobb County. Costs are currently estimated at approximately $1 billion, but team officials admitted those costs are likely to spiral due to, among other things, special considerations need for local political approval of site improvements.