LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Seeking More Funding To Complete New Stadium?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yankees Seeking More Funding To Complete New Stadium?


This morning on ESPN 2, Sage Steele mentioned briefly that the Yankees are seeking an additional $400 million in public funding to complete their new stadium and that, if they don't get it, the new stadium might not open in time for the 2009 season. Naturally I was concerned so I did some checking. I found out, of course, that there's a lot more to it than that.

I read two articles, one on Yahoo and the other in the New York Post. Basically, the Yankees would be interested in additional public funding for the new stadium if a change is made to an IRS regulation that prohibits additional public funding to private projects. Changing this IRS regulation would not only benefit the new stadium, but also the Mets new stadium and the arena being planned by the New Jersey Nets. Officials from the both the city and state are working in Washington to try to change the regulation. So, this is not about the New York Yankees, as some in the media would have you believe.

This whole thing will have no affect on the completion of the new stadium. Yankees president Randy Levine denied statements by New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who said he was told by Seth Pinsky, president of the city's Economic Development Corporation, that the stadium might not be completed if the issue is not resolved. (Also, acting like the politician that he is, Brodsky came down hard on the general idea of private organizations securing public funding.)

My guess is that Levine did tell Pinsky the stadium might not be completed, but it was only a weak threat. Even if they don't get the additional public funding, there's no way that the probable richest sports team in the world wouldn't be able to secure enough funding (albeit taxable funding) to complete the new Yankee Stadium.

I can't blame the Yankees for trying to get additional public funding, but I can also see Brodsky's point of view. As much as I love the New York Yankees, I don't want to love them at the expense of the City and State of New York.

The Lady

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