As the new Yankee Stadium nears its regular season debut, the Yankees are taking a good deal of flack over a few aspects of the stadium. While bloggers — ranging from Bronx Banter, New Stadium Insider, YFSF and Scott Proctor’s Arm, to name a few — have given less than glowing reviews of the new digs, the mainstream press has been doing some good reporting on the stadium issue as well.
Today, we have two stories. One is about the Mohegan Sun sports bar and the obstructed-view bleacher seats surrounding it; the other is a tale of questionable companies winning competitive contracts for both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium jobs.
Mohegan Sun protests bleacher association
First up is this tale of naming-rights woe from Friday’s Times. Richard Sandomir spoke Yankee officials and representatives from Mohegan Sun about the controversial sports bar in center field. The big restaurant in center field serves as the batter’s eye, but it also creates some very obstructed views of the outfield from the bleachers.
The Yankees, it seems, never told Mohegan Sun that their branded bar would block the bleachers. “Since there are no obstructed seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, it wouldn’t necessarily have come up,” Alice McGillion, a Yankee spokesperson, said to Sandomir. Right. Good thinking.
Mohegan officials are none too pleased about this development. While the Mohegan tribe-owned company has paid for the naming rights, they didn’t choose anything else about the restaurant. “We don’t want to be held responsible for the impact the facility has on the view of seats there,” Mitchell Etess, president and CEO of Mohegan Sun, said. “We had no say in the construction of the stadium, and I’m certain that this was designed long before we made the deal.”
For the Yankees, Randy Levine was his usual sympathetic self. “The decision was to do obstructed seats — those few seats — and we’re pleased. They’ve sold out,” Levine said, while ignoring the fact that most of these seats were sold long before they were revealed to be obstructed.
Levine also told Sandomir that fans could watch the game from the Terrace on top of the sports bar. However, security guards were removing fans from that area last week, and the disconnect between the Yankees’ statements and their guards’ actions remains.
Firms accused of organized crime built the Stadium
This second story is just amusing. While the City of New York has barred a good number of companies with alleged ties to organized crime from bidding on city contracts, apparently the city’s development agency isn’t as careful. At least three contracts — one concerning the demolition of Shea Stadium and two for the construction of Yankee Stadium — were awarded to some of the banned contractors. Since the city’s Economic Development Company doesn’t have the support staff to review every single subcontractor, some city money certainly landed in the hands of suspected companies. Oops.