Thursday, November 13, 2008

Now They Tell Us

From Anthony Rieber's Newsday column:
Seriously, we're not against new ballparks for the Yankees (and Mets, for that matter). Goodness knows Shea Stadium needed to be torn down, and as much as everyone loved the old Yankee Stadium, it was living on borrowed time.

We just don't believe public money should be used to pay for cash machines for private businesses. And then those private businesses get to turn around and soak the ticket-buyers, whether it's $600,000 for a luxury suite or $85 for a decent single-game ticket.

The bottom line is the Yankees (and Mets, for Citi Field) have gotten massive tax breaks to build their palaces and will get to keep most, if not all, of the profits. Although the politicians have gone to great lengths to pretend no public money is being used on the projects except for infrastructure, you can be sure the Yankees and Mets will be keeping tens of millions of dollars over the next few years - private businesses getting richer at the public's expense. And then charging top dollar for you to get in, if you can.
I'm on short time this morning, but when I roll into the office later, I'm going to borrow some LEXIS/NEXIS time from the firm to see if I can find any evidence that Newsday was so adamant against the financial arrangements for the new stadiums back when something could have been done about it, or whether this is some newly-discovered populism in a time of economic strife.


mooseinohio said...

Of course you won't find anything as this is just another example of the 'issue du jour' syndrome that has inflicted the media for years. The problem is that we tend to vet our issues too late to really do anything about it as the time to question the powers that be was quite some time ago.

Basically this ship has already sailed on the taxpayers, problem is the media and the taxpayers were watching them load the ship with lots of cash and did nothing other than wave goodbye.

bigcatasroma said...

I bet the latter

Pete Toms said...

I think you're bang on C, there is a definite populist backlash. It's not a good time to be rich and at the public trough. You and your readers have been hip to this scam for years now, but it is getting wider play now. A lot of that has to do with the fact that it is happening in NYC, the media capitol of the world. And when Congress starts to grandstand over it, you know there has been a change in public attitudes.