Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Yankees get their bonds, but questions remain

The New York Yankees, as expected, got the tax-exempt bonds they sought, with one abstention among the board members of the New York City Industrial Development Agency, that of Comptroller William Thompson's representative. The New York Mets got their bonds, with no debate. Here's coverage in the Times.

Questions pending

I wasn't there, but Good Jobs New York's Allison Lack was, and she observed:
Representatives for the Yankees and Mets each made presentations during the hearing, which goes against standard IDA practice. By the IDA’s own rules, comments in favor or opposition to projects are limited to public hearings (one took place yesterday). At all the IDA board meetings Good Jobs New York has attended over the years, never before have we seen project applicants speak in favor of their projects during these meetings.

IDA staff presented a summary of public comments on the projects and responded to these. However, a number of concerns and questions remain unanswered, Among the many:

What will be the average wage of the part-time and contract workers, as these will be the majority of additional new employees at Yankee Stadium?

What accounts for the threefold increase of estimated tax benefits from the construction and operation of Yankee stadium since the project was initially approved in 2006? And what accounts for the large increase for the Mets’ Stadium? These figures are key in the city’s claim that fiscal benefits from these projects outweigh public costs, yet they remain a mystery.

What are the costs and benefits of these additional financings?

1 comment:

  1. Observers of the Atlantic Yards project tend to make comparisons to the Yankees and, to a lesser extent, the Mets, because they all illustrate the appalling lapses of judgement that afflict government when dealing with sports team owners.

    Here's another comparison. Why on earth do we think that a Nets arena will cost much less than the Yankees or Mets ballparks, or be any easier to construct?

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