As October approaches and the 2008 Major League Baseball regular season winds down, the New York Yankees and their fans have begun to say farewell to the 85-year-old Yankee Stadium. While this season hasn’t gone to plan, fans can look forward to moving into the new state of the art stadium next season. But for New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, the deal that led to the building of the new stadium left a sour taste in his mouth.
Brodsky on Tuesday, September 16, said in a report that the $550 million to $850 million in taxpayer’s money that was committed to the project was based on outlandish threats. The Associated Press reported that Brodsky claims that the Yankees threatened to leave New York if they did not get the public financing they wanted. He also criticized the deal for only creating 15 jobs compared to the 1,000 jobs it said it would, and for not making tickets more affordable for lower income families.
The Yankees came out and defended the project, calling the claims by the assemblyman “inaccurate” and “disappointing.”
“The project has been one of the most transparent transactions undertaken in the city of New York and details have been recorded in voluminous, publicly available documents,” Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillon said adding that 50 percent of tickets will be $45 or less.
Despite the teams assertion of no wrongdoing, on Thursday Ohio State Representative Dennis Kucinich joined Brodsky in the criticism of the stadium deal.
“In the case of the new Yankee Stadium, not only have we found waste and abuse of public dollars subsidizing a project that is for the exclusive benefit of a private entity, the Yankees, but also we have discovered serious questions about the accuracy of certain representations made by the City of New York to the federal government,” Kucinich said adding that there is evidence of fraud by those in charge of finance of the new stadium.
The stadium is set to open in April 2009 prior to the regular season and will be located across the street from where the current Yankees Stadium sits.