The latest news out of New York is that the Steinbrenner family wants another $350 million in public financing for their new stadium.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn made the following comment: “These sports teams are private companies that appear addicted to keeping their hands in the government cookie jar,” and I’ve got to say I agree with him. The owners of the New York Yankees are getting a new stadium? Let them, or Major League Baseball, pay for it.
According to the article, about $941 million in tax-exempt public bonds have already been issued for the $1.3 billion stadium, which the Yankees are building across the street from the current ballpark.
Under current Internal Revenue Service regulations, the Yankees cannot ask for more public debt to be incurred for the stadium. But “city officials have been lobbying Washington for a change in IRS regulations that would allow the Yankees to get the $350 million in additional tax-exempt bonds they say they need. Such a change could help other big stadium projects – not just the new Yankee Stadium.”
The Yankees’ Opening Day payroll of $209.1 million was by far the highest in the major leagues. Ticket prices at the new stadium will be hefty. The team is going to charge $500 to $2,500 for seats near home plate in the first five-to-eight rows.
It’s difficult enough for families to afford going to the ballpark now. With the increase in prices next year, it’ll be next to impossible.