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Atlanta Braves Sputter in Stock Market Amid a March Toward World Series

Atlanta Braves Sputter in Stock Market Amid a March Toward World Series

(Bloomberg) — The Atlanta Braves are on a big winning streak. But the company that owns the team isn’t faring as well in the stock market as the baseball club is on the field.

With the global pandemic necessitating a shortened baseball season that saw fans outlawed from attending games in person, shares of Liberty Media Corp.’s baseball assets, commonly known as Liberty Braves, remain about 27% lower than their pre-pandemic high. Second-quarter revenue fell by 95% due to the loss of games and the restriction on fans.

Still a group of investors, spurred on by the recent sale of the New York Mets and the spread of legalized sports gambling, see the potential for a windfall profit.



Liberty Braves shares have yet to recover from pandemic plummet


© Bloomberg
Liberty Braves shares have yet to recover from pandemic plummet

Investors like Hawk Ridge Capital Management and Shapiro Capital Management were lapping up shares even while the fate of the baseball season was still up in the air.

“We don’t think there’s any permanent impairment to the value of sports franchises,” said Hawk Ridge founder David Brown. “That view is bolstered by the recent transaction with the Mets and the Red Sox rumor.”

The Mets are set to be sold to hedge fund titan Steve Cohen in a deal that values the franchise at a record $2.42 billion. Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, is reported to be in talks with RedBall Acquisition Corp. to go public through a merger that would value its holdings, which also include Liverpool Football Club, at a valuation of $8 billion, including debt.

Brown also cited the uptick in sports gambling and the opportunity for the Braves to strike a more lucrative television deal once their current agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting ends in 2027 as reasons for buying the stock.

Hawk

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Best Atlanta takeout: Gato in Candler Park

Best Atlanta takeout: Gato in Candler Park

ExploreIntown Atlanta dining news

Gato chef-owner Nicholas Stinson brings a takeout order out the door of his Candler Park diner. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

I haven’t even mentioned the opposite side of the menudinner entrees that showcase the playful Mexican cooking Stinson has concocted in the two years since he unveiled his Gato Nights weekend series. I’m talking about an adobo chicken quarter that Stinson flattens, tenderizes in a sous vide machine, finishes on a Japanese charcoal yakitori grill, and serves with red rice, house-made tortillas, escabeche, salsa macha and key lime halves. And a giant tlayuda, made with red corn meal that he grinds himself and crisps on a cast-iron press he imported from California. The pizza-size tortilla is strewn with mushrooms, summer squash, Oaxacan rope cheese, bean puree, avocado, salsa and the herb pipicha.

An order of takeout tacos from Gato in Candler Park includes (on the left) pulled citrus pork shoulder, with smoked peach salsa, cilantro stem, iced red onion, and chapulines salt; and (on the right) braised turkey thigh with green mole and radish. Wendell Brock for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Wendell Brock

Credit: Wendell Brock

The self-taught chef now presents his hardy, everyday breakfasts and more intellectual Mexican fare side by side on a pandemic-era menu, “Godspeed Gato!” And, though he doesn’t knock it out of the park every time, he comes close. Either way, it’s hard not to be impressed by his rigorous research and solid technique. For certain, he knows how to make the basic elements of salt, acid, heat and spice come together in electrifying ways.

As fate would have it, COVID-19 arrived not long after his Mexican magic at Gato had started to make a buzz. (Before that, Gato was

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