Wednesday, February 15, 2006

2/8/6, amNewYork: "Group: Yanks' stadium could cost taxpayers $481M"

Group: Yanks' stadium could cost taxpayers $481M
amNewYork City Editor

February 8, 2006

Taxpayers could cough up half a billion dollars to help George Steinbrenner build a new stadium for the Yankees, a government watchdog group warned Tuesday. But Yankees' brass dismissed the group's report as "wrong" and "misleading."

Good Jobs New York estimated that the Bronx Bombers' new palace would cost $481 million in public subsidies when infrastructure improvements, demolition costs, tax breaks and other incentives are added up.

"We are not anti-development," said Bettina Damiani, the watchdog group's project director. "But the most powerful and wealthy sports franchise is asking for almost half a billion worth of subsidies in the country's poorest congressional district and nobody is asking, 'How is this going to lift a nearby family out of poverty?'"

The report adds to the controversy surrounding the new stadium. Another group, Save Our Parks, has been critical of plans because it would be built on 22 acres of Macomb's Dam and John Mullaly parks.

Yankees President Randy Levine dismissed the report as a "fiction" from an "anti-development advocacy group."

"The Yankees are privately financing a new $800 million stadium which will be the largest private investment in a private sports venue in the history of the United States and the largest private investment in the history of the Bronx," he said.

In particular, Levine objected to the group's calculation that the city would lose $103 million in rent with a new stadium. He said that's a misleading number because the Yankees do not pay rent at the current stadium.

He noted that other tax breaks used in the group's $481 million estimate are part of a state incentive package that any business that invests in the South Bronx will get.


At 4:34 PM, Blogger Save Our Parks! said...

The following letter to the editor was published in amNewYork:

"New Yankee stadium called a boondoggle" (Michael
Clancy -- Feb. 8) was a home run!

It reminds me of why taxpayers should just say no to
using public funds for any new major sports stadiums.
In ancient Rome, government attempted to curry favor
with the masses by offering free bread and circuses.
Today, we have sports pork.

Given the current municipal projected deficits of
several billion dollars in fiscal year 2006 -- there
are city services more worthy of investment.
Professional sports is not an essential service and
shouldn't qualify for government subsidy.

Increasingly scarce taxpayer funds would be better
spent elsewhere. Let the current team owners float
their own bonds or issue stock to finance new
stadiums! Please don't pick the pockets of taxpayers.

--Larry Penner, Great Neck


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