Last week, New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky released a report that condemned the deal between the city and the New York Yankees to build the new Yankee Stadium. He claimed that much of the financing was done based on unsubstantiated threats to leave the city. The report also blasts city officials who reportedly negotiated, in secret, a perk that would give them access to a suite at not only the new Yankee Stadium, but also Citi Field, the future home of the New York Mets.
The deal calls for city officials to have access to one suite at each stadium, as well as the right to buy 145 tickets at face value before the public at Citi Field, and 180 tickets at the new Yankee Stadium.
“They’re subsidizing this gigantic increase in ticket prices, and they’re getting this luxury box for themselves? Gimme a break,” Brodsky told the New York Times.
Despite the assemblyman’s criticism, the Yankees and the city have defended the deal saying that Brodsky released the report in order to promote himself. According to the Associated Press, the Yankees and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg noted that Brodsky approved the deal twice.
“It is disappointing that Assemblyman Brodsky, for personal aggrandizement, is attempting to insert himself into the final week at the current Yankee Stadium,” Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillon said.
Giving luxury suites and the right to purchase tickets ahead of the public to city officials is nothing new in the world of sports. Officials claim that they are used to promote and help lure new businesses to the city, as well as be used as rewards for city workers. According to the New York Times, other teams that have given similar perks include the Indianapolis Colts (four suites), Washington Nationals (two suites, 25 tickets, 18 free events) and even the New York Jets and New York Giants which will give two suites and the right to buy between 100 to 150 tickets to the city.
“Everybody has the opportunity to run for City Council or mayor,” Mayor Robert Cluck of Arlington, TX, whose city will welcome the new Dallas Cowboys stadium next year, told the New York Times. “Maybe that’s just a perk of the job.”