Box 19, Folder 16, Document 63

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Box 19, Folder 16, Document 63

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ATLANTA, GA. 30312
AC 404—522-7630

February 10, 1966


Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr.
City Hall
Atlanta, Georgia

Dear Ivan:

I want to thank you for taking the lead in setting up Tuesday's meeting
to see about coordinating our forces between now and the opening of the
season. I attempted to articulate the Braves position properly, but I
thought a letter might help as a guide for Bell & Stanton in developing
their program. The points discussed at the meeting were as follows:

1. Season Ticket Campaign

The results to date are disappointing but not disheartening. The
Wisconsin litigation has created serious doubts, particularly in
Atlanta, about whether the Braves will ever play a game here and
this has hurt our business tremendously. We have also run into
serious legal complications in publicizing our Stadium Club and even
though this facility is for the exclusive use of season ticket hold-
ers, we are put in the most awkward position of not being able to
announce plans for the Club or solicit membership. I reconfirmed
this position with our lawyers after the meeting and they feel very
strongly that there be no publicity until the present hearing is

The Falcon's most successful campaign has hurt the Braves season
ticket sale in a number of ways. For example, nobody has any doubts
as to whether the Falcons will be able to play their schedule here,
as opposed to my estimate that 75% of the companies we solicited
have serious doubts as to whether the Braves will open the season
in Atlanta. Of course, the low price of football season tickets

- con't -
Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr.
February 10, 1966
Page 2


makes for a much easier promotion. Nonetheless, I hope I made it
very clear that the effect of the Falcon campaign on the Braves
campaign will only take place this year since Rankin and I have
agreed not to overlap in future years.

The Braves recognize the football history of Atlanta and we know

that there is a big job to be done in order to share the limelight
with Georgia, Georgia Tech and NFL. This situation has been success-
fully overcome in other cities, notably Los Angeles and San Francisco,
and in a very short period of time I am confident that the Braves will
receive this kind of acceptance in Atlanta. I can tell you that the
relationship between the Braves and the Falcons is excellent and
Rankin and I will see that it remains so. The Braves have spent over
$50,000 in the promotion of season tickets already and we are now

at a point where it's unrealistic to assume that we can do much more
to promote this type of business without assistance. The only way to
generate additional business would be for civic groups to get together
and, after reviewing our season ticket list, actively solicit all
businesses who have not ordered as well as any companies who have
responded in a nominal way. I do not know whether any one organization
is willing to take on this vast project. If there is, we would ob-
viously cooperate in every way.

Opening Day Plans

The Braves agree that Bell & Stanton is the logical coordinator for
Opening Day plans.

It's my understanding that Opie Shelton will ask them to prepare a
program which will be submitted to us within the next ten days.

This program will insure that the park will be sold out for April 12
and they will be given full authority to execute their program. The
Braves will spend $10,000 towards this campaign with the understand-
ing that we have already spent or committed a great deal of these
monies for newspaper ads, radio and TV spots, etc. I understand
that the additional funds will come from civic and business organ-
izations who, other than the Braves, will most directly benefit from
a successful program.

Stadium Club

The Braves definitely need help in making the Stadium Club a success,
particularly in light of the unknown problems which have arisen in
connection with this project. I believe it's in the spirit of our
original intent that Atlanta Stadium have a first class club and there
is no doubt in my mind that without this facility season ticket sales
in the long run will be affected drastically. Virtually every baseball

- con't -
Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr.
February 10, 1966
Page 3

stadium now constructed or under construction (with the notable
exception of Milwaukee) has such a facility, and I might add it's
usually part of the original cost of construction. In thiscase
the Braves have undertaken the financing of this club, but we
never expected that the cost of obtaining a liquor license would
be so substantial (primarily because of the expense of litigation).
At this point, we have a $450,000 commitment which we have under-
taken knowing full well that the liquor question remains unsolved,
but I am certain that you gentlemen will assist in overcoming this
embarrassing situation promptly. I feel that we have demonstrated
our good faith in proceeding with the Club on sthedule and Atlanta
is too proud of a city to allow harrassing litigation of this kind
to exist.

We will need members and it's important that we have the assistance
of the leadership of this city in attracting a membership of at
least 1,000 for the Club. Within the next few days I will be send-
ing you a membership brochure which we intend to use immediately
after the litigation and I would hope that the business community
will get behind this Club. I assure you it's tastefully designed
and will be the finest facility of its kind in any stadium in the
United States. The annual dues will be $150 or less for a corpor-
ation and less for individual memberships. The maximum initiation
fee for corporations will be $500 and $250 for individuals. I hope
you can tell me who might be able to help me on this membership
drive since from the Braves standpoint I am taking this project on

I am enclosing a confidential report on our season ticket campaign pre-
pared by Jim Fanning of the Braves organization. He had the responsibility
of directing this campaign which I believe is the most extensive program
ever attempted by a Major League baseball team in a new city. I hope

this approach will lay the groundwork for a much more successful result

in future years when the harrassments are terminated. I would appreciate
any comments you might have regarding the Fanning report.

With best regards.



William C. Bartholomay
Chairman of the Board



ec: Mills B, Lane, Jr. Bob Richardson
Arthur Montgomery Allan Bell

Opie Shelton George Goodwin


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