ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Georgia’s loss is Colorado’s gain, with today’s All-Star Game being played in Denver instead of Atlanta.
MLB made the decision to leave Atlanta after Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 202 into law back in March and says the “Election integrity act” disenfranchises minority voters.
Economists say the short-term loss of the MLB game leaving Atlanta could have long-term ripple effects.
Mike Lewis, Marketing Professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School said “I think there are direct economic impacts. You lose the hotel business, the revenue business. I’ve seen folks put a number of $100M but the long term is more questionable and more dangerous. If the state of Georgia starts to lose films, if Major League baseball starts to lose fans.”
Bill Crane, Political Analyst at CSI Crane said, “It’s a kick in the teeth for the convention industry that’s already come off the pandemic. Reservations were made months in advance that are canceled, contracted air BNB and rentals in the northern metro arc of Atlanta.”
Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp blames the “Cancel culture” on democrats like Stacey Abrams for the state losing business.
Deborah Scott, CEO said, “Business as usual cannot happen in Georgia. This is a state that has been repressive to black and brown people.”
“If you think of Georgia as a brand and MLB as a brand, people have fondness for brands because of memories and experiences with them,” said Lewis.
Scott said, “Change is sometimes rough and messy and sometimes it costs money. Doing the right thing costs money as well. It’s not a cancel culture but about accountability.”
But voting rights groups say MLB made the right choice because it shows that bad political moves will impact business in Georgia.
“I think the fact the game has moved is a responsible move on some corporate leaders. I think it’s a good thing. Sometimes we have to get through some difficult times to get to a better reality,” said Scott.
MLB’s move has triggered other industries to shift camps from Georgia like Will Smith’s latest movie. Faith leaders even triggered a boycott on Home Depot for not taking a public stance on Senate Bill 202.
Democrats argue Senate Bill 202 hurts black voters, and is a retaliation bill for Georgia flipping blue, and limits drop boxes, and people getting food and water in line.
However, State Republicans say, even though there was no widespread fraud, these checks and balances like photo ID for absentee ballots are needed to restore voter confidence and election integrity.