More Tax Breaks for the Yankees?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bottom right corner shows part of parking garage that would be torn down to make way for a soccer stadium. It sits next to the old Yankee Stadium, which has been demolished. (Moonstruck Video and Photo/flickr)

The Yankees and the British soccer team Manchester City are in talks with the city to bring a 28,000-seat soccer stadium to the Bronx in exchange for tax breaks. WNYC reporter, Jim O'Grady, explains what kind of deal the Yankees and Manchester City are hoping to get, and why it includes a bailout for a bankrupt parking garage. 


Jim O'Grady

Comments [19]

Daniel from Kips Bay

De Blasio needs to set a precedent by not caving to sports team owners. As cool as the RBNY-City derby is going to be, this stadium does not need public financing whatsoever. In fact, the very concept that MLS announced City before they had a stadium in place should be used as leverage by the city - that basically they're going to play in NYC no matter what, and thus will pay the full cost no matter what.

(Also, brief quibble @Robert from NYC: MLS players by and large make only about $100,000 a year, with a salary cap of about $3 million (not including the additional salary earned by up to 3 "designated players" per team - e.g. Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill for RBNY). They simply wouldn't have $500k each year to give. Plus it's not the players' fault - esp. considering there are no players even there yet.)

Dec. 17 2013 08:28 PM
Mandy from Clinton Hill

Would like to see this kind of treatment on the proposal about Fresh Direct, that scheme seems very shady. Hope WNYC can delve into that one...

Dec. 17 2013 03:20 PM
John from NYC

I am soccer fanatic and support a team in Bronx but only in US has mega rich sports businesses been subsidized so much by public money. The whole business of public money use for sport teams has become a scandal all over US.

Dec. 17 2013 02:49 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

Look out the window. See the white stuff falling from the sky? It's called S-N-O-W.

Time for NYC to have a stadium with a dome.

That's something Bloomberg should have accomplished - but didn't.

Dec. 17 2013 12:20 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@Lesa ..STOP IT. The Dinkins/Tennis center deal actually was a very good one for the City. Guiliani criticized it but then signed a far worse deal for NYC taxpayers, for his beloved Yankees.

Dec. 17 2013 12:00 PM
Amy from Manhattan

After the city gov't. promised the New Yankee Stadium would benefit local businesses & then allowed the stadium to be built w/a tunnel to the subway that funnels attendees straight into it so they don't even see the local businesses, I don't believe anything they promise w/respect to any development project.

Dec. 17 2013 12:00 PM

How about instead of tax breaks, we offer the incentive of simply claiming NYC as a team home? Think of it as "naming rights."

Dec. 17 2013 11:57 AM
khadija Boyd from Brooklyn

let me shut the EFF up! NOT! let it ride until the mundial a Rio! Then, we'll talk! [I taught my Varsity Foot son how to play Foot/ball] ;}}}
lovely to listen. tks

Dec. 17 2013 11:57 AM
Marjorie from Manalapan, NJ

How can we have Soccer here, it has not intermission and therefore will
have no advertising time?!?!?

Dec. 17 2013 11:56 AM
Lenore from Manhattan


Every study of sports arenas indicates that they do not contribute to the economic development of the areas in which they are built. That's #1.

#2--If there is any case where it's clear that subsidies are NOT NEEDED, this is it! DeBlasio actually supported most of the tax breaks and subsidies that came up while he was public advocate, but he campaigned to change that, so this is a PERFECT place to begin. (most things aren't so clear)

I agree that the idea of a stadium is fine. (I'd also like to see a cricket pitch...) Just don't subsidize the damn thing. ENOUGH! (sorry for all the caps!)

Dec. 17 2013 11:56 AM
Lesa from Westchester

Dinkins did this to Giuliani for the Tennis Center. Stop the madness and the tax breaks. And I love soccer.

Dec. 17 2013 11:55 AM

I a perfect world, the stadium would be built at the site of the old tennis facility at Forest Hills. Facility is crumbling, it has train service, and a stadium in the middle of a community would fit right it with European stadium sites. No parking!

Forest Hills would hate it for a couple of years

No subsidies though. Both team owners have plenty of money/

Dec. 17 2013 11:52 AM
Hal from Brooklyn

I'm happy for people who are interested in sports, and I'm grateful for the way sports venues contribute to some communities. Personally, I have no interest these games, and resent any proposal that picks my pocket to that end.

Dec. 17 2013 11:45 AM
Rick Evans from 10473

When can we expect to hear "The End of Corporate Welfare as we know it"?

Oh, wait! So long as New York news readers are willfully distracted by Kardashians, Miley crotch antics, Lohan rehabs, Rhianna bathroom selfies, etc, etc, billionaires will be free to snatch hard paid taxes right out from under the noses of the blissfully ignorant.

Dec. 17 2013 11:06 AM
Chris from New York

Please be clear - the Manchester City owners are the royal family of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the 2nd largest producer of oil in the OPEC cartel.

Their sovereign wealth fund is estimated to have $500 billion of assets.

Complain about the Yankees what you will, but you could add up the wealth of every team owner in NYC and it would be a rounding error for the Man City owners.

Why do they need a "tax break"?

Dec. 17 2013 10:30 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The Bronx and NYC could use a soccer club here, no one here goes to see the Red Bulls in their wonderful stadium, in the middle of nowhere.

Manchester City's and the Yankees' owners were rich enough to buy themselves titles, they can pay for a stadium.

Dec. 17 2013 10:17 AM
Jon S. from Essex County NJ

As a huge soccer fan, I am torn. I would love to see a great new soccer facility in the shadow of one of America's greatest sports stadiums.

On the other hand, you cannot deny that the Man City owners have more money than God, witness their spending at Man City for nearly any player they fancy.

Giveaways to the sporting rich are a tradition in this country - in NYC the Steinbrenner, Dolan, and Johnson families are the most prominent recipients.

This group has already pushed enough money into the pipeline to grease the decision to hold the WC in Qatar over vastly more workable bids from the US and UK. Should we reward them with more?

Dec. 17 2013 10:07 AM
Ramon from Highbridge

Insane to give them anything.

And what about the proposed $200 million in CASH and loans and tax breaks to FreshDirect in the South Bronx on public State land that has been hijacked with a crooked 99 year lease by political functionaries in Albany?

Unreported thus far, the Board of FreshDirect is composed of hedge fund millionaires and a Billionaire even who helped push the presidential aspirations of Bloomberg a few years ago, hence the offer of corporate pork to the Ackerman family.

That is an ongoing scandal that needs to be looked into more.

Kingsbridge Armory is being done with $300 million in private finds with committed Living Wage jobs, that should be the way.

Dec. 17 2013 10:04 AM
Robert from NYC

Well if each player and management give up $500K of their respective annual salary for even only 2 years the whole thing can get done. If they make those cuts permanent they can lower the prices fans pay for seats and food. I sometimes think Americans actually love being ripped off, it makes them feel like they live in a virtual life of luxury. It all has to do with "being the best" in everything.

Dec. 17 2013 09:12 AM

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