LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees President Subpoenaed

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yankees President Subpoenaed

Yankees president Randy Levine has been subpoenaed by a New York State Assembly committee, chaired by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester County). Brodsky wants him to appear at a hearing tomorrow as part of a probe into the funding of the new Yankee Stadium.

When I think about this issue, my eyes glaze over. I'm not sure I understand it at all, but this is what I think is going on:

The prevailing opinion going around New York City these days is that the Yankees are being given a handout while hardworking citizens of the Five Boroughs are being told to do without. According to Levine, who made the rounds on local sportstalk radio today, this isn't true. The City is not paying for the new Stadium. The Yankees are not being subsidized. The Yankees have borrowed the money they are using to build the stadium using bonds from private citizens. They will have to pay this money back.

This is the exact same thing that the Mets are doing with their new stadium, too, yet they're not being criticized for it. It is something The New York Times did when they built their new printing plant, yet they didn't get criticized for it. It's something a lot of business do all the time, yet they don't get criticized for it. The Yankees get criticized for it for one reason and one reason only: They're the Yankees.

Brodsky has also been making the rounds on local sportstalk radio today and, his argument is that the Yankees aren't paying the taxes associated with the bonds. He says the Yankees made a deal (as did the Mets) that would get them out of paying the taxes. Why aren't the Mets being singled out as well? Brodsky told Michael Kay that the amount of money involved for the Mets was smaller and also, his committee didn't have the resources to investigate both teams. He also mentioned that Yankees weren't forthcoming when they were asked to provide information to the commitee, so they were subpoenaed.

I think that's what's going on. But, you know something? I'm really not sure.


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