Hey, you know what a colossal disaster the Yankee Stadium Experiment has been so far? Anyone feel like making things much, much worse? New York Assemblymen Richard Brodsky and James Brennan, yes, your hands are up, please go ahead.
Brodsky and Brennan have issued subpoenas for the Yankees’ internal records, charging that construction deals will eventually cost $4 billion in financing and tax breaks, a troubling number since the team said the stadium “only” cost $1.5 billion to build. The Yankees’ response? According to ESPN, it’s “Go ahead, we’ll just cost your precious citizens even more money“:
New York Yankees officials say it would cost taxpayers more than $5 million if the team is forced to provide internal records sought by lawmakers looking into public financing of the club’s new stadium.
Brodsky, who took the stand, said he focused on the Yankees’ deal instead of public financing for the new New York Mets stadium across town because the Yankees’ deal was twice the cost. Brodsky also claimed the Yankees’ deal appeared to manipulate the tax law and included $1 million to cover free tickets for city officials.
Therrrre’s that old school municipal corruption we all know and love.
Yankees: “May we play with the tax code so we can end up getting nine or ten digits back in tax concessions?”
NYC: “Hell no.”
NYY: “Can we sweeten the deal with some free tickets?”
NYC: “Can you ever! Manipulate away, you clever businessmen, you!”
In today’s least surprising news, the Yankees deny the legislators’ charges; they’re accusing them of merely grandstanding about the ticket prices, which are also being investigated by the assemblymen for some reason.
As always, the rule applies: in cases of clear disagreement with large sums of money at stake, find who has more to gain by lying and don’t believe them. In this case, it’s the Yankees who seem to be trying hard to suppress any kind of investigation into the boondoggle of a stadium deal they put together. After all, this $5 million figure is only, oh, 4-8 times bigger than their previously cited figure of $600k to $1.2 million. Why else would they amp up cost estimates like that?
That’s not a rhetorical question, either. Seriously, why would they?