Opening Week Problems for New York Yankees Go Beyond Blowin’ in the Wind
There's more going on in The Bronx at the new Yankee Stadium opening week than just the now infamous wind tunnel that's left fans aghast. Here's a run down of news that's probably kept the team's public relations staff team very busy:
The City's Economic Development Corporation released job figures for the stadium but they raised more questions than answers. For example, how many Bronx residents were hired? What are the wages and benefits? As expected, most of the new non-construction jobs are seasonal so what is the economic impact of those short-term jobs in contrast to the billion dollar subsidy price tag?
Assembly Members Richard Brodsky and James Brennan asked the New York State Supreme Court to have the Yankees comply with a subpoena as part of the Assembly's investigation into the $1.3 billion the team received from the New York City Industrial Development agency in tax-free financing the new stadium. It seems the subpoena is having an effect as the Yankees might have to turn over documents.
South Bronx residents and advocates joined clamoring Yankee fans on opening day to demand officials move more quickly to replace the over 22 acres of parkland where the new stadium now sits.
New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. released another audit showing the Yankees owe the city $68,000 in rent. Not paying the rent is a disturbing trend for the Yankees as previous audits by Thompson show they have underestimated the rent by about $3 million since 2002.
And finally, the already dubious economic multiplier effect of the new stadium is in serious doubt since the priciest seats are empty. What are the restaurants, parking garages and concession stands in the stadium to do without rich fans?