"Yankee Funds for the Bronx in Limbo" Gothamist 1/7/8
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January 7, 2008
Yankee Funds for the Bronx in Limbo
Back in 2006, an agreement signed the day construction started for the new Yankee Stadium promised the team would pay $1.2 million a year in cash and in kind to a fund benefiting Bronx residents for 40 years. It was a gesture to make up for the inconvenience during construction and loss of parkland the new stadium was costing the neighborhood. After a year and half, none of the money has been distributed - and it's unclear who will be distributing it, if ever.
The Yankees organization says it has nothing to do with the distribution of the annual disbursal. The agreement was signed without any community participation, just a Yankees representative and four elected officials: Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. and three Bronx Council members. None of them agreed to talk to The New York Times, but the paper did identify the acting chairman of the invisible panel: Serafin U. Mariel, who couldn't identify any members of the group that is overseeing the distribution of funds and admitted the group has never met. The group hasn't actually even registered as a charity with either the IRS or the state attorney general yet.
Mariel said, “It has taken some time to choose the advisory panel, but while some of that time has been lost, I don’t think any of the funding commitment will be lost.” That may be, but the Yankees' first year contribution was $800,000 in cash and $450,000 in free tickets and athletic equipment. We can't imagine that the Yankees organization will allow any donation of free tickets to accrue season after season. Mariel also said he'll be calling the mystery panel to get the ball rolling on distributing funds. Hmm - what are the odds this will happen before Bronx Beep Carrion's campaign for New York City Comptroller?
Separately, parking at the new Yankee Stadium will cost more than double, from $14 to $29, whether you're a fan or just someone who needs a space. The state is paying the parking garage owner $70 million in direct subsidies for construction and the city is paying more than $30 million to replace parks displaced by the new garages and lots.