YANKEES YANKING PUBLIC COFFERS FOR PERSONAL GIFTS: The Yankees have the good people of New York to thank for their yearly financial success - and not just by snagging seats at the Stadium:
The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that a watchdog group says George Steinbrenner & crew took public money earmarked for stadium planning, and spent it lavishly on themselves.
The group Good Jobs New York says the team turned in receipts for the 2005 year to the city for such extravagant items as crystal baseballs, post-season bar tabs, wool baseball caps, and gifts for corporate clients. The group adds that the “privately financed” project of building a new Yankee Stadium is actually costing taxpayers $795 million.
Back in 2001, mayor Rudy Giuliani allowed the Yankees to deduct up to $5 million a year on rent payments to the city to offset planning costs for the new stadium.
Good Jobs’ director points out, “It goes to show how the Yankees will stop at nothing to squeeze every penny from New Yorkers for this project.”
A Yankees spokesperson says the group’s claims are “entirely, absolutely and definitively incorrect.”
Nice to see all that spending and public pilfering result in a satisfying wild card finish.