Friday, July 29, 2011

When it comes to sports facility deals, the devil's in the details

Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez, in Losing $30M in annual fees shows city whiffed big-time on new Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, writes:
Well, it turns out that Shea and the old Yankee Stadium - both of which sat on park land, and were owned by the city - were the Parks Department's biggest revenue generators.

Under the old Yankee Stadium deal, the city was assured a percentage of gate receipts, a percentage of food sales, even a percentage of the team's cable revenue.
Well, the city also paid for maintenance of the publicly-owned stadiums, so there was a trade-off.

Now the teams pay themselves for maintenance, but they got nice deals that allowed them to pay for construction of new facilities, with luxury suites/boxes, via tax-exempt bonds. Ditto with the Atlantic Yards arena.

And, as Gonzalez suggests, it's negotiable--and the teams seem to have negotiated well.

For example, why did the state give arena naming rights away?

Why, if it was "part of the financing for the project," was it never counted in any subsidy analysis?

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