Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When Stadium Financing and the Recession Collide

This is the third in a series featured at The Biz of Baseball, written by FOTB and Canadian baseball correspondent Pete Toms. (For more see Part I and Part II of this series)

Here's a snippet, but if you are into the stadium financing issues and problems, you'd be better off reading the whole thing.

The combination of job losses and declining tax revenues in NYC, the publishing of emails which revealed the mayors office had vigorously lobbied the Yankees for a luxury suite at the new stadium, the Yankees free agent spending spree and record ticket prices at the new stadium made public financing/funding of the stadium a hot political issue. ( The mayors office eventually forfeited the luxury suite ) City Comptroller William Thompson was very public in his criticism of mayor Bloomberg’s role in the financing/funding of the stadium. Mr. Thompons’ [sic] critics ( the mayor’s office and the Yankees ) pointed out that Mr. Thompson had voted in 2006 to issue approximately 1$ billion in bonds for the stadium and that his opposition to the latest round of financing might stem from his expected run for mayor of NYC this year.

The unprecedented attention brought to the issue of “public dollars for private stadiums” in the political and media battle over the new Yankee Stadium might be remembered as the tipping point in this debate. Is public financing/ funding of stadiums for billionaire owners and millionaire players now too politically contentious to risk? (There is much debate as to whether the new Yankee Stadium is publicly built or publicly financed)

Pete's other work on Biz of Baseball can be found here.


Pete Toms said...

Jason, very generous, thank you.

What do you think? Was Bloomberg overly generous to the Yanks? Are the tax exempt bonds a rip off or are they a fair deal for NYC residents? Is Thompson an opportunistic hypocrite? Is Brodsky a hypocrite for criticizing the Yanks but helping funnel public money to his horse track buddies ( and is there innuendo that they are mobsters? ) Are the Mets getting off way too easy?

zoolander said...

All of these get up on your soap box articles fail to mention:

The Yankees are paying off the debt, not NYC.

NYC and NYS will collect a small fortune in income taxes on player salaries and sales taxes on ticket, food and souvenier sales.

Yes there is a subsidy to the Yankees but the government is making money on the deal. It is no different than tax breaks given to large corporations such as Pfizer to keep jobs in NYC.