Friday, August 08, 2008

Kucinich looks into questionable ticket deals for the Yankees and Mets stadiums

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, continues to look into questionable aspects of sports facility deals in New York City.

Yesterday, Kucinich "requested documents relating to a provision in the new Yankee Stadium deal that entitles New York City government officials to free use of a luxury box that will be built in the new stadium and preferential rights to purchase up to 180 tickets for each Yankees home game," according to an announcement on the subcommittee's web site.

He made a similar request to the New York Mets and government agencies, given that the Mets have a similar seat deal with the city for the team's new stadium.

Other inquiries

Kucinich is also looking into whether the valuation of the new Yankee Stadium "gamed" so that the foregone taxes exceeded the expected bond payments, thus allowing a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) financing deal.

Also, he has asked the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department to hold off from approving any deal allowing PILOTs for a Nets arena until his investigations of tax-exempt financing are concluded.

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