The city is working on a deal to use tax-exempt bonds and other subsidies to bring a 28,000-seat soccer stadium to the Bronx. The agreement would bail out the bankrupt company that owns 11 parking garages and lots serving Yankee Stadium -- garages originally built with hundreds of millions of dollars in government subsidies.
The city's Economic Development Corporation might grant up to $300 million in tax-free bonds to build the stadium on a site now partially occupied by an abandoned parking garage. Bondholders of the Bronx Parking Development Corporation - the bankrupt entity that owns the garage - would stand to make $25 million. The company owes the city nearly $50 million in rent and taxes, but it is legally obligated to pay off its bondholders first. The garage, which fronts East 153rd Street, would then be demolished.
The Yankees are also trying to buy property from GAL Manufacturing Company, an elevator maker across the street from the garage. To complete a stadium-sized parcel, the city would have to close and de-map one block of East 153rd Street.
The 28,000-seat stadium would be home to a Major League Soccer team owned by the Yankees and British team Manchester City. Under terms of the draft agreement, the teams would be exempt from paying rent for 38 years.
Bettina Damiani of Good Jobs New York, a watchdog group, says taxpayer support of private stadiums is a bad idea. "Clearly the Yankees and Manchester City have the resources and the ability to pay for a stadium for themselves."
If the agreement goes through, Bill de Blasio, as mayor, would have a month to decide whether to approve it.