Nov
30

City officials pushed for free suite

By

According to e-mail uncovered via a Freedom of Information Act request, New York City officials applied a full-court press on the Yanks to earn the free use of a luxury suite at the new Yankee Stadium.

In the grand scheme of New York City politics, this news is hardly shocking, but it is just one more example of the close and, at times, inappropriate relationship between the city and a team that had once promised to build the stadium with little help from the public. The Times’ David W. Chen has more:

The Bloomberg administration was so intent on obtaining a free luxury suite for its own use at the new Yankee Stadium, newly released e-mail messages show, that the mayor’s aides pushed for a larger suite and free food, and eventually gave the Yankees 250 additional parking spaces in exchange.

The parking spaces were given to the team for the private use of Yankees officials, players and others; the spaces were originally planned for public parking. The city also turned over the rights to three new billboards along the Major Deegan Expressway, and whatever revenue they generate, as part of the deal.

The e-mail messages between the aides to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Yankees executives were obtained and released by Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, Democrat of Westchester, who questions whether taxpayers were adequately protected in the city’s deal with the team.

Mr. Brodsky said what emerges from the e-mail correspondence is a sense of entitlement ingrained in Bloomberg officials. He said that the city appeared to be pushing for use of the suite for not just regular-season games, but for the playoffs and the World Series, and for special events like concerts, too.

“There’s this ‘Alice in Wonderland’ quality to the question of, what is the public interest here and who’s protecting it?” said Mr. Brodsky, who conducted a hearing on the issue of public financing of sports stadiums this summer. “We can’t find the money for the M.T.A., or schools, or hospitals, and these folks are used to the perks and good things of life, and expect them.”

The e-mails themselves — available as PDFs in the Daily News article — are fairly benign. In typical back-room politics fashion, the Yanks balked at offering the suites while the government officials threatened to withhold whatever the Yanks may have needed from City Hall. In the end, everyone got what they wanted except the taxpayers.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
  • Steve

    “In the end, everyone got what they wanted except the taxpayers.”

    Really? I’m a taxpayer and I wanted the Yanks to get a new stadium. I also understand that they couldn’t do it without the city. No project that size happens without city involvement.

    Also the residents of the Bronx got some beautiful new parks, the old stadium grounds will be turned into a park and the new facility will provide jobs and tax revenue for the city for decades to come.

    Sounds to me like everybody got something out of this deal, except the people who wanted the old stadium to remain. But of course that’s not their decision to make, its NYC/Yankees decision.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      The people who live in the Bronx would rather have the Macombs Dam park back than their little tiny 0.5 acre greenspaces. That’s hardly a point up for debate.

      • Chris

        You’ve asked every Bronx resident their opinion?

        In the end it will be hard to assess the real impact until the whole thing is complete.

        • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

          I agree. Also let’s be real here without the Stadium and the Yankees being in the Bronx there would be less parks and money for public projects.

          As someone who has done a lot of work in the Bronx over the years I somehow laugh at anybody who thinks the place would be as nice as it currently is without the Yankees and Yankee stadium there.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            That’s not the issue though. At what point were the Yankees seriously considering leaving the Bronx? 1994? They just weren’t going to leave if they didn’t get this new stadium, and nothing made the city give the team such a ridiculous deal.

            • mustang

              Agree.

          • mustang

            “I somehow laugh at anybody who thinks the place would be as nice as it currently is without the Yankees and Yankee stadium there.”

            For years the little league baseball fields around Yankees stadium have been shit. I played in them when I was I kid and I find it shameful that they are in the same conditions.
            I know people who live in that area and believe me the Yankees are not consider very good neighbors.

    • Chris C.

      Really? I’m a taxpayer and I wanted the Yanks to get a new stadium.”

      Why? You were sick of showing up at the shrine of baseball? Or did you feel you weren’t spending enough money to go watch a baseball game?
      What about the people who are taxpayers and couldn’t give a crap about the Yankees?

      “I also understand that they couldn’t do it without the city.”

      Yeah, sure. The Yankees could never build a new stadium without the city paying about 70% of it, not including tax-free junk bonds, AND a finance plan which includes a waiver on all future taxes in lieu of merely paying back the debt incurred by those bonds.
      You want a new stadium for your team, fine………you got it. But stop acting like a sucker. I’ll bet you also believed they had a sweetheart deal set up in Jersey if NY didn’t pony up, didn’t you?

      “the new facility will provide jobs and tax revenue for the city for decades to come.”

      The old facility provided jobs too. And as far as tax revenue, who do you think will be paying the taxes on the new Yankees Stadium? Not the Yankees. Most of that same tax revenue will go right back to the state and federal government. Are you really this hoodwinked?

      “Sounds to me like everybody got something out of this deal”

      You get what you pay for, pal. Enjoy the new stadium, but also enjoy paying a ridiclous amount of money for you and your family to go to a baseball game.

  • mustang

    “In the end, everyone got what they wanted except the taxpayers.”

    Dead on !!!

    I’m a civil service worker and I’m being asked to take a week pay cut and pay higher medical co pays to help in “ New York’s fiscal crisis”. Mean while deals like this are being run under table.
    Believe me the few seasonal jobs the new stadium creates will not make up for the millions that the taxpayers put into this or for the millions the Yankees will be making of the new stadium. I will believe in that parkland when I see it they will probably try and take that too. The whole thing is a joke.
    I heard on the news how the Nets organization has a job bank set up with its sponsors to try and help their fans out. It would be nice to see the Yankees do something like that instead of just looking out for themselves.

  • Ed

    Well, now we have an answer as to why the Yankees ended up with what seemed like a high number of parking spaces for team use.

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