To say New York Yankee executives have chutzpah is an understatement. To say New York City Mayor Bloomberg has lost his fiscal sense is not an overstatement. Yesterday, Assembly Member Richard Brodsky who is trying to bring law and order to New York’s unwieldy public authorities, revealed that the New York Yankees are asking for $350 million more in public financing for their stadium.
As if the $800 million in subsidies the team already pocketed for its new home (currently being built on what once was parks and playgrounds) isn’t enough. But as big projects like these often do, the new stadium is costing more than expected and the team wants New York officials to lobby the Internal Revenue Service to permit it to get tax-free financing. This is a repeat of what New York officials previously did on behalf of the Yankees.
But the most shocking part of this scenario isn’t the Yankees voracious appetite for our tax dollars, it’s that the team reportedly said it would finish the stadium even if it didn’t get the financing. The Yankees claim they could finish the project without additional public financing, but the Mayor’s still offering to help? Yes, we’re confused too.
With term limits making Mayor Bloomberg’s days in office numbered, let’s hope he quickly gets back the businesses sense he used to build his successful firm, and use it for New Yorkers. Any lobbying in Washington should be to advocate for really important infrastructure improvement for the whole city, not just the Yankees.