Sunday, August 05, 2007

"The Yankees face life after George" 8/3/7

Here's an excerpt. Click the title above to read the entire article.

What will New York taxpayers get in return for all their Yankee largesse? Very little - unless you're a local pol with a hankering for hardball. The Yankees will pay a mere $10 a year in rent in the new ballpark, down from about $10 million in the old one. No, we didn't leave off some zeros; it's typical of the sweetheart deals cities make to keep teams in town. And this one comes with a cherry-on-top kicker: According to the prospectus, city officials get their own luxury box "for all regular-season team home games."

Of course, the Yankees are responsible for $51 million a year in debt service. Yet even that expense comes with a silver lining: It will help reduce the Yankees' revenue-sharing obligations. Baseball's 2002 collective-bargaining agreement permits teams to deduct stadium debt service and construction costs when calculating revenue sharing. Bottom line? Baseball's 29 other teams will effectively bear a third of the cost of the Yankees' new ballpark. "It's a classic tax shelter," one baseball insider says. "Not only do you get the benefit of added revenues, but you get a major revenue-sharing deduction as well."


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