Foul Ball

Thank God the baseball season is finally starting. It was a bad offseason, as usual when there’s nothing to talk about on the field people dwell on the unimportant. One of those ‘stories’ was riddled with hypocrisy and lies, and therefore must be called out here.

This morning, ESPN once again, for like the thousandth time, lied about the financing of the Yankees new park. John Saunders said that the park was financed ‘largely by taxpayers’. Wrong. The new Yankee Stadium was completely privately financed, 100%. For building a new cathedral out of their own pocket, the New York Yankees should be commended, as just about every other club HAS asked for taxpayers’ money. But instead we have had to listen to a bevy of lies all winter long. It is so simply summed up here.

So, the Yankees built the entire Stadium, every brick. The City built a park, a parking lot, and improved one of the subway stops…in other words they invested in infrastructure improvements in the vicinity of the ballpark (and actually, the Yankees chipped in 50% of the cost of those improvements on top of paying for the Stadium). Those are the facts.

Then there was the brewha over the financing package the City gave the Yankees. In essence, they got a cut rate on the bonds. Maybe it was too ‘friendly’. I don’t know. But what I do know is that the New York Yankees will be repaying the City for a long time, with interest, to the net benefit of the New York City taxpayer.

The political bandstanding and bloviating over the financing details are too numerous to count or link to here. When its the Yankees, its easy to create a national headline out of nothing, so its no surprise that a gaggle of politicians found it easy sport to make a big deal out of the bonding package that the Yankees got.

While we’re at it, lets talk Yankees ticket prices, another fun ‘news’ story for ESPN all winter. Much was made about the price of the season tickets behind home plate, and the cost of luxury boxes. Ironically, these arguments are made ‘largely’ by the same people who think a progressive tax structure is Marxist. Of course, I have no basis for that claim, but what the hell, at least I put quotes around it. Point is that there’s a huge gap between the rich and the middle class in this country, so yes there are people who can afford season tickets at $2600 a piece. So this is a reason to hate the Yankees? I’m not following.

Again this morning ESPN pointed to the ‘average’ cost of a ticket in the Stadium, about $75 bucks. Sure the ‘average’ goes up, but it has no bearing to the real issue, which is that the vast majority of seats unchanged or still very reasonable. Bleacher seating has been more than doubled and is $14. Upper deck seats in the $20’s, outfield main $55. So actually they’ve increased the amount of really affordable seats, while improving the amenities in those areas. Yea, what a bunch of jerks the Yankees are.

I’m sure there are a lot of reasons why some people think its their job to make people think the NYY organization is evil. The reality is otherwise.

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    I’m gonna have to give this one a big thumbs down to Madman. The yankees most certainly are an evil organization. They should take a page from a good organization like the red sox, who renovate their historic park, in an environmentally friendly way.

    at least the sport punditocracy can take a rest on the scapegoating of the entire steriod era on Barry Bonds and focus on a truly evil force, the yankees, those dirty rat bastards, Arod is a punk. Fuck you yankees!! You suck!! Wang sucks wang! Fuckos!

  • Madman

    So glad to see the hilarious anger on display, thanks JR. Raised inside the bubble you’re blind to the Red Sox hypocrisy.

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    Madman, do your homework next time. The taxpayers are getting SCREWED! I am trading all my yankees immediately!!

  • M.Uila

    The true genius of the new stadium is how the Yanks can use it to game the Luxury Tax (i.e. Yankee Tax)…

    Baseball’s 2002 collective-bargaining agreement permits teams to deduct stadium debt service and construction costs when calculating revenue sharing. Bottom line? Baseball’s 29 other teams will effectively bear a third of the cost of the Yankees’ new ballpark. “It’s a classic tax shelter,” one baseball insider says. “Not only do you get the benefit of added revenues, but you get a major revenue-sharing deduction as well.”

    Suck it, Reefercake!

  • Madman

    I didn’t realize that Uila, but that makes sense…and of course they should consider their debt service just like anyone would if they were calculating their revenue. Reef please send us a link to any whiny grandstanding bullshit about how this impacts NYC taxpayers and I will happily refute it.

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    I don’t need no stinkin’ links to know that the new yankee stadium was a rip off to NYC and the the rest of the country for that matter. They feed on us like vampires.

    Madman, your hypocrisy is rank. Look again at the link you provided. Add up the numbers. How many million do the NYC taxpayers really pay?

    And as to Uila’s comment, suck it I will. And we all will. Because what the yankees have done is a scourge on mother earth. Tied her with fences and dragged her down.

    The larger point here is that of smart growth. Look it up. The yankees have sacrificed smart growth in favor of the allmighty dollar. Those bloodsucking scoundrels.

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    $220 million from New York City for parking facilities ($75 million), parkland along the waterfront ($135 million) and other work related to the stadium

  • Madman

    Parkland along the waterfront is indeed a scourge on mother earth. Next time you’re in the Bronx please let me know how much smarter they can grow. And yes, the taxpayers invested exactly $215 million, half of the transportation and infrastructure improvements to the area. You’re right, my link was incorrectly over-reporting the amount of public financing, the Yankees paid for half it. I know DickyV understands this shit…how much in interest will the yankees be paying back to the City over the next 30 years?

  • Dick Vinegar

    Sorry for the delay, Madman. Excellent and insightful post by the way. As to your question about interest paid to the City (and yes, when you capitalize the word “city” it means New York City), my initial calcs come out to: reefercake sucks nards. Of course there is a margin of error there, but in general one can assume he is sucking something in that area, be it nards, chode, ass, cock or even pearly penile papules.

    Can you imagine any other city where they would choose to build a multi-billion dollar stadium in one of the most economically depressed areas? Tradition aside, the ability of the yankees to draw a crowd to the south bronx and for the City to convince them to say there speaks worlds as to why New York is and always be the city by which all others are measured.

    The argument that the taxpayers are getting ripped off because they are funding infrastructure improvements is laughable at best and at worst, betrays reefercock’s elitist republican leanings. You realize this stadium is reachable by 3 separate subway lines, thereby granting access for the entire City for the meager sum of $2 per person? That means that from ANYWHERE in this City of 9 million people, you can watch a game, transportion included, for the sum total of $15. Ripoff indeed.

    How can using real estate tax revenue to improve infrastructure and to fund improvements to blighted areas be a ripoff? It is essentially the ideal use because not only is it keeping the dollars local, but it is funding improvements that in turn increase property values, which in turn increase property tax revenues. On top of that, the improvements to the stadium and the infrastructure are resonating throughout the neighborhood with local biz owner’s funding improvements and new business owners moving into the area.

    I assume I do not even have to mention the sales tax revenue generated from the increased business activity, right?

    Lastly (for now), per the “2006 Subway and Bus Ridership Report” (no links – i am referencing the hard copy, p. A 7), the Yankee stadium subway stop (all three lines) had a total annual ridership of 7.5 million (busiest BY FAR in the Bronx). At $2 a pop, this is $15 million annually in revenue for the near bankrupt MTA. Perhaps improvements to the busiest station in the Borough is warranted and perhaps since the MTA keeps 100% of the revenues from said subway use, they should be responsible for some of the cost of the improvements.

  • Jimmy Reefercake

    Gentelmen, I am going to have to make a full reefercake reversal on my comments about the stadium. The new stadium is a great thing…especially considering that the yankee pitching sucks, and there is a perfect breeze carrying away the ball.