The Yankees and Mets return to the trough

You’re not going to believe this, but the Yankees and Mets need — and are going to get — more money from the taxpayers of New York:

With opening day for the city’s two newest baseball stadiums only four months away, the price tag for taxpayers continues to rise.

The Bloomberg administration has issued fresh estimates for utility work, lighting and the cost of replacing the parks and ball fields that once stood where the new stadium for the Yankees is being erected.

The city also plans to issue $341.2 million in additional tax-exempt bonds on behalf of the Yankees and Mets to complete the stadiums, whose combined cost is about $2.2 billion.

The teams are responsible for paying off the bonds, but they pay tens of millions of dollars less in interest because payments to bondholders are exempt from city, state and federal taxes.

This is on top of the $660 million in infrastructure developments and improvements and $500 million in tax breaks already being given to the families Steinbrenner and Wilpon by taxpayers.

Query: are the Yankees and Mets still sticking to the “we’re-paying-for-our-own-stadium” talking points, or has it finally become too ridiculous a charade to maintain?


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MooseinOhio
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MooseinOhio
What I find interesting is that folks will often recoil when asked to pay taxes to fund schools, social services or infrastructure items (all things that benefit a community) but often fall silent on using public monies to finance stadiums for a private enterprise.  Voters tend to pass these financing schemes (word used intentionally) more often than not and do not question the logic of using public funds for the benefit of a private business. Are the spin doctors that convince folks that these are worthy causes just that much better than those for school funding or other social goods? … Read more »
Pete Toms
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Pete Toms
@ Moose. Read, “Public Dollars, Private Stadiums” for a great examination of why this happens.  Residents / taxpayers have frequently opposed this policy in different US cities but it happens anyway. Some select quotes from the book, but I can’t do it justice here, you have to read it. “Overall, the process of building private stadiums with public dollars in the United States is more akin to plutocracy and oligarchy than to democracy……Residents in and around Pittsburgh and Phoenix were crystal clear about not wanting to spend public dollars on private stadiums.  But in both cases, powerful stadium advocates simply… Read more »
Aaron
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Aaron

Actually, it seems more and more often that voters have little desire to waste their money on various stadia. If anything, it’s legislatures and governors that pass these deals as feathers in their caps.

MooseinOhio
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MooseinOhio
Pete:  It will be added to the long list of must reads books that I hopefully will get to some day.  I appreciate the few quotes and recommendation and I know my comments were simplistic in nature but I find it fascinating that we, as voters, let our elected official get away with such shannigans.  I suspect that if the same legislator were to support/advocate for/pass a bill about a social issue (e.g. gay marriage, abortion, civil rights – take your pick) that we were opposed to that we would rally against them and join groups that actively opposed their… Read more »
Pete Toms
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Pete Toms

Moose, I am a hypocrite.  I supported the mostly publicly funded construction of our ballpark in Ottawa, simply and selfishly because I knew I would reap a lot of enjoyment from it.  Objectively, it was a rip off.  Sadly, I think it’s gonna be bulldozed in favor of a big box development.

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