Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"Pitchman Reggie bats for Stadium" NY Daily News 03/29/06

Pitchman Reggie bats for Stadium
Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

Reggie Jackson was Mr. March for the Yankees yesterday as he helped pitch the Bombers' planned new ballpark at a City Council hearing - but the proposal got a Bronx cheer from opponents.

The Yankees want a new $800 million stadium on parkland near their current home but the plan has drawn fire from Bronx residents and officials upset over the loss of green space.

"I am first a minority," said Jackson. "The Yankees weren't always really a good partner in the Bronx."

But Jackson, a paid adviser to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, argued the team is now reaching out to the community - and urged Council members to forge a "partnership" agreement with the Boss.

Mr. October was told his sales pitch before the planning subcommittee was "a day late and a dollar short" by Councilwoman Helen Foster (D-Bronx), who has been a sharp critic of aspects of the stadium plan.

The Yankees have pledged to provide at least 25% of the 900 permanent new jobs created by the stadium to local residents. They have also offered to spend about $700,000 a year for 40 years on youth and other community programs.

The Council is facing a deadline of next Wednesday for approving required land-use and lease arrangements.

Votes by the planning subcommittee and its parent Land Use Committee are required before the full Council can vote.

Yesterday's hearing ended without a vote, increasing the suspense of what will happen when the full Council takes up the issue next week.


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