Cobb County is expected to lose approximately $100 million in tourism after Major League Baseball announced that the 2021 MLB All-Star Game would no longer be held in Georgia.
“In the initial stages of the pandemic, many Cobb hotels saw single-digit occupancy numbers,” Cobb Travel and Tourism President Holly Quinlan told CNN.
“The 8,000-plus contracted hotel room nights that will not actualize as a result of the MLB All-Star Game relocation will have a negative impact on Cobb’s hospitality industry and other local businesses, further delaying recovery.”
Major League Baseball moved this season’s all-star weekend festivities after Georgia legislators passed S.B. 202. The recently passed bill would severely limit drop-box voting, require voters to submit ID in order to vote by mail and offer more power in elections to Republican legislators. Also, the bill makes it illegal to pass out food or drinks to voters waiting in long lines on Election Day.
Passing S.B. 202 has sparked pushback from voters and large companies. Leading the way, Delta and Coca-Cola have called for Georgia legislators to repeal the restrictive voting law.
“Corporations have to stand up. There is no middle ground. This is about all Americans having the right to vote, but we need to recognize the special history of the denial of the right to vote for Black Americans, and we will not be silent,” former American Express CEO Ken Chenault said.
Despite pressure from voters and large corporations, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp remains steadfast in his support for S.B. 202.
“Free and fair elections are the foundation of who we are as a state and a nation. Secure, accessible, fair elections are worth the threats. They are worth the boycotts as well as the lawsuits,” he said.
At this time, it is unclear where the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held.