In February, when word came down that the new Yankee Stadium was nearly half a billion dollars over budget, Yanks COO Lonn Trost seemed rather sanguine about the whole thing. “We’ll make it up some way,” Trost said.
Well, four months later, the Yanks are attempting to make public funds that “some way.” According to numerous reports, the Yankees, via New York’s elected officials, are petitioning the IRS for some rule changes that would make the team eligible for another $350 million in tax-exempt public bonds. The Associated Press reports:
New York City officials confirmed on Wednesday that the Yankees might be interested in seeking more public financing to build their new stadium, pending a regulation change by the Internal Revenue Service.
“The effort on the completion bonds will not affect the completion of the stadium,” the team president, Randy Levine, said in a statement. “We are working under the strong leadership of the city and state along with other projects to seek relief from the I.R.S. regulation.”
Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which is working with the Yankees, said the project was not threatened. But, she said, the city is working to relieve a regulation that prohibits more public debt to be incurred for the stadium.
While the Yankees would not confirm just how much they’re seeking, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said the club would like another $400 million. So at this point, can we just put to bed any shred of the notion that the public isn’t on the hook for a vast portion of this stadium plan?
Over at Field of Schemes, Neil deMause speculates that this move could cost the city as much as $60 million in anticipated revenues. At a time when budgets are tight across New York, city officials should probably not be supporting the Yanks’ push for more tax-exempt funding beyond the $941 million the team has already received.