More hearings, fewer parks as stadium issue lurches on

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Open Thread: Ex-Yanks on the move

As the arbitration fallout continues, two stories surrounding the new stadium have cropped up over the last few days. Both of them involve ongoing stories I’ve been following here over the last few years.

First up is fallout from the weekend. Richard Brodsky says that he will continue to hold hearings about the city’s sweetheart deal with the Yankees. Greg Clary reported over the weekend:

State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky plans to continue an investigation into New York City’s stadium deal with the Yankees after releasing e-mails detailing discussions of tax breaks, free food and who might get to use a city-owned luxury box…

Brodsky said his Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions will look at how the assessment of the new Yankee Stadium was calculated, why ticket prices shot up hundreds of dollars each and whether promises that 1,000 permanent jobs would be created were knowingly overestimated.

“My job is to keep a check on authorities,” Brodsky said. “We’re doing the kind of oversight we’re supposed to. Where we have documents that we’ve finished reviewing and are worth looking at, we will continue to make them public.”

I’m a strong supporter of good government in New York City. I believe that, by and large, the taxpayers got a raw deal here while the Yanks and the City are busy patting each other on the back. I don’t see how the stadium is going to deliver the 1000 new jobs, and I don’t see why the city is footing the bill for so much.

But I have to wonder about the utility of more hearings. Does Brodsky have an end-game or is he just out to make the city and Yankees look as bad as possible? If the state assembly isn’t going to levy any sort of penalty, just let the matter go. We know it was a bad deal. Let’s not waste more taxpayer dollars on it.

Meanwhile, on the parks front, the Village Voice’s Runnin’ Scared blog directs our attention to a Daily News article about the replacement parks. The gist of is that the parks set to replace the Macombs Dam Park won’t be open for a few years. It’s not really new news as these parks have been behind schedule for over a year now, but it’s just a reminder that the community benefits are slow to materialize. I know some fans disagree, but I think the Yanks should have been more responsive to the needs of the South Bronx residents who have long lived with the Yanks as neighbors.

More on the Yanks and the economy
Open Thread: Ex-Yanks on the move
  • Mike Pop

    Honestly Ben you are nuts with a good way.. You are like a non-stop action reporter and are writing so many posts a day.. Screw law school man.. ESPN is calling your name

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      PANDA WATCH!!!

  • mustang

    Ben I know we disagree on a lot of things, but I must praise you on the work your doing here. You have been pointing out how the taxpayers and the people of the Bronx have been getting screw in this whole deal. I for one respect the effort.

    “I know some fans disagree, but I think the Yanks should have been more responsive to the needs of the South Bronx residents who have long lived with the Yanks as neighbors.”
    Show me those fans that disagree I will show you people who don’t live with the Yankees as neighbors. I wouldn’t be surprise if the South Bronx residents never see that parkland.

  • andrew

    *javier vazquez to braves*

  • TONY

    The New York Yankees should have the best stadium in the world. With the new stadium we will have just that. I really do not understand why anyone could possibly oppose this new stadium. The yankees are paying for the stadium & the city & state are paying for infrastructure. Now maybe I am missing something but the city & state are supposed to pay for infrastructure.

    Now if a new stadium spurs them to improve the roads & highways & subways around the stadium – how does this hurt the neighborhood. Would you prefer to have crumbling roads?

    Please shed some light on this for me

    Tony S

    • Ben K.

      Tax-free bonds and sweetheart land deals mean the Yankees aren’t paying for the stadium. The taxpayers are.

      No one is saying the Yanks shouldn’t have the best stadium in the world (although whether or not the new stadium is an improvement over the old one is up for debate). All I’m saying is that the government in New York should have asked the Yanks to carry more of the costs. There is no reason why others should have to carry that fiscal burden when the benefits generally don’t outweigh the costs.

      • Ed

        Ben, I realize we get into these arguments every time you make one of these posts, but please, stop making the same mistakes every time. There are valid complaints to be made, but you keep complaining about the things that were done right.

        “Tax-free bonds and sweetheart land deals mean the Yankees aren’t paying for the stadium. The taxpayers are.”

        That’s just flat out wrong. The land valuation inflation is essentially meaningless. It’s a made up number to balance equations. That’s all land evaluations ever are for tax purposes. If you own property, the tax appraisal value of it is vastly different from the actual market value. Some municipalities over estimate, some under estimate, but very rarely does it have any semblance of the real value. This happens over time because it’s easier to change the method of appraisal than it is to change the laws that set tax rates or other matters that depend on the values.

        As for the tax free bonds, they’re a benefit to everyone but the IRS. The IRS allows them, with limitations, so there’s no reason for New York not to issue them. By issuing the bonds, New York gains the ability to issue demands on how the money is spent, which should lead to more of the money eventually being taxed under New York’s jurisdiction and more construction jobs being created in the city along the way.

        The subway/train work is not a problem – public infrastructure is the city’s responsibility to handle. That’s not a waste of tax money, it’s one of the major purposes of tax money.

        The valid complaints are the way the entire plan was rushed through with little public involvement along the way and the issues with the parkland. Those are major issues – the first should be for everyone, the latter I would imagine is for Bronx residents.

        • Tony S

          Ed, I couldn’t agree with you more. Well said.

  • TONY

    You mean that 1 billion dollars is not a big burden.

    I remember as a kid the yanks wanted to have the city pay for the new stadium & the roads. I feel that it is a win – win. The team pays for the stadium (building) & the city pays for the roads. We all benefit & we all carry our fair share. Lets not forget that many corporations in NYC receive similiar deals so that the do not leave NY. (now I agree that the chances of the yankees are remote – it was not a slam dunk that would stay in the bronx)

    So overall I have to respfully disagree & say that the tax payers & the team walked away with a good fair deal. And as fans we will have a worldclass, state of the art stadium. As charming as the old stadium was it was old & it was time to move on. (lets not forget that in 1923 Yankee stadium was state of the art for its time but not in 2008.)

  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    “Does Brodsky have an end-game”

    Brodsky’s end game is for people to know who Brodsky is.

  • Kidwithanopinion

    I heard that left feild is small, is that true?