Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gimme a break

Newflash: The New Yankee Stadium (TNYS) construction efforts are $400M short.

This infuriates me. Now, I know things cost more in NY than most other places on the planet and let's just say that construction in and around NYC isn't exactly the most, um, efficient, from a cost and timing perspective. I won't get into the whys but let's just agree that things are more difficult, expensive, time consuming, frustrating to get done/fixed/built around here. It just is. They can add new lanes to highways in San Diego in a week but it takes years to fix an on/off ramp in NYC (I'm looking at you, Willis Avenue Bridge exit off the FDR North and the Throgs Neck Bridge).

What really steams me is the fact that the Yanks are turning to the public to foot the additional cost overruns.

State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester, whose committee investigates publicly funded projects, said that the Yankees now say that if they don't get another $400 million in public financing the club might not be able to finish the stadium.

Why so mad, you ask? Because the general public will be again asked to foot the bill yet due to the prices of the seats at TNYS, most of the general public won't be able to afford going to see the team in the stadium they helped fund. Because the Yanks operations are a cash flow machine and I think they should have to foot the bill of their overruns. Because they should be responsible for delivering a stadium on budget or they should have to cover their own mismanagement or mistakes in budgetary forecasting.

Turns out, there is an IRS ruling that prohibits the additional funding of stadiums by the public, past a certain point (if you have any insight into this, please share it with me so I can post it here to remain as accurate as I can be!):

Janel Patterson of the New York City Economic Development Corp. that is working with the Yankees said the project isn't threatened. But she said the city is working to relieve an Internal Revenue Service regulation that prohibits more public debt to be incurred for the stadium. Brodsky said that IRS change also is being sought to help stadium and arena projects for the Mets and Nets.
Brodsky said Seth Pinsky, president of the city's Economic Development Corp., "told me that the Yankees have said they may not complete the stadium if this issue not resolved." Brodsky, chairman of the state Assembly's committee governing public authorities and their borrowing, criticized the closed-door dealing for millions of dollars to benefit the Yankees in the face of public transit and other needs that aren't being funded fully.
Puh-lease!!!! TNYS won't be completed due to cash? Yeah right. They'll make too money NOT to have it done on time.

I've been in favor of TNYS for a while now but at some point, the digging into the public coffers for a private entity has gotta stop. Let Hankenstein and his widening kingdom foot the bill. They are the ones who will reap the benefits anyways.

1 comment:

Osmodious said...

Wow...a building being built in NYC is hitting cost overruns? THAT is ASTOUNDING! Everyone saw this one coming, I hope.

Of course, this gives me an opportunity to spout off about the ridiculousness of tearing down 'The House That Ruth Built'. This whole thing is so ludicrous that it would be funny if it wasn't so sad. Give up one of the top 3 home-field advantages in ALL OF SPORTS, so you can get some more luxury boxes?

Ugh, I'm so disgusted that I can't even launch into my usual rant about this. It's a travesty to begin with, now this overrun is just icing on it. So, we're now looking at $1.6billion, before any additional overruns (which WILL happen, again this is NYC)? AND THERE'S NO FREAKIN' RETRACTABLE ROOF??????

Give me the cramped, damp, smelly confines of 'the House That Randy Levine Is Tearing Down' any day. Yeah, Camden Yards is nice, as is that bandbox in Philly, but Mickey Mantle didn't stand in their batter's boxes...I'd rather sit on a field that had real history and eat a crappy hotdog than sacrifice my team's legacy so I can have sushi or something while I watch them lose (with no ghosts to support them, they will).