I have been asked by numerous reporters why state and local governments continue to fund stadium subsidies if they don’t pay off in economic development benefits. Among the answers I give is that the public officials get really good seats in exchange for the support. Which brings me to one of the new developments in the Yankee Stadium saga. The mayor’s office sent Randy Levine of the Yankees memorializing their agreement that while Mayor Bloomberg is in office that the City will not use the “luxury suite and accompanying twelve (12) seat box at the new Yankee Stadium”. The Yankees can rent the suite and pay the City the net proceeds, rental fee minus marketing costs, but not less than $100,000 per season which the city does not use the suite.
The letter is available at Good Jobs New York’s website which also has the cost benefit analyses and applications for additional funding for Yankee Stadium and the new Mets facility.
The Yonkers Tribune has a long article about the Yankee deal. Here is an excerpt:
New Jobs Created As A Result Of The New, Taxpayer Financed Yankee Stadium
FULL TIME EMPLOYEES
The Yankees now assert that there will be a total of 22 new permanent full time jobs created as a result of the new Yankee Stadium project. This is an increase of their original statement that 15 new permanent full time jobs would be created. The Yankees now assert that there will be no increase in non-permanent full time jobs.
The Uses Of The New Taxpayer Money
The single largest use of the additional public financing appears to total about $57 million for a large screen television and audio-visual systems.
Other big ticket items include $10.4 million for “suite upgrades,” including the addition of press suite lounges, as well as $1.6 million to enclose the press suite.
The new taxpayer money will also be covering $40 million in construction delays, and $1.6 million to replace concrete ramps with granite ramps.
The additional public financing will also provide $137.4 million for concessions, $12.5 million for Yankees administrative offices, $8.4 million for a museum and conference center, $1.3 million for City inspections and permits, and $384,000 in legal fees.
The Yankees’ application for the new taxpayer money also notes that the Yankees will be subleasing 6,500 square feet in the new stadium to Hard Rock Café, and 6,500 square feet to the Yankees Steak LLC, a steakhouse.