Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"The Yankee Stadium deal" El Diario 04/04/06

The Yankee Stadium deal

Editorial on El Diario 04/04/06

Last June, in a matter of just eight days, the City Council and the state Legislature approved a proposal to use 23 acres of parkland in the South Bronx to build a new Yankee Stadium. Supporters say the Yankee Stadium proposal is part of a larger plan for much-needed redevelopment and renewal in this area of the South Bronx. But critics say the proposal is a sweetheart deal for the Yankees that would allow them to stay in the old stadium while the new one is built nearby, and remove trees and parkland from a neighborhood plagued by poverty, asthma and childhood obesity.

On Wednesday, the City Council must vote yes or no on the proposal. We urge the the City Council and the Yankees to negotiate a plan that takes into account the valid and important concerns expressed by community and environmental groups about this deal.

George Steinbrenner and the Yankees plan to build a new, smaller stadium with large, luxury box seats. But the proposal also calls for the construction of 75 percent more parking garages. The Yankees say this will meet the existing demand for parking, but it is just as likely to encourage even more people to drive to the games rather than take public transportation.

A better plan would be to urge Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki and the MTA to amend the capital plan and build a Metro North station at Yankee Stadium.

Furthermore, the 23 acres taken from Macomb`s Dam Park would not be replaced with contiguous parkland, but rather, with smaller parcels , including five acres of land that no mother would send her child to because it lies on the other side of the Major Deegan Expressway.

The neighborhood around Yankee Stadium is part of the poorest congressional district in the country. The city, the state and the Yankees must make a deal that benefits the most important partner of all: the residents and fans of the South Bronx.


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