Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yanks Would Have Left Bronx Without Tax-Free Bonds

From Richard Sandomir:
Randy Levine, the president of the Yankees, told a Congressional hearing Friday that if the city had not issued tax-exempt financing for the team’s new stadium, it would have left town.

“It’s been no secret for many years” that the team would move if it could not save tens of millions of dollars on financing with tax-free bonds, Levine told the House subcommittee on domestic policy. He added: “There was no shortage of suitors. We see ourselves as a paradigm in professional sports.”

Levine refused to be specific about the other suitors, but when asked after the hearing if New Jersey has wooed the Yankees in recent years he said, “Absolutely!”

The allure of New Jersey endured into 2006 — years after the team’s annual attendance reached three million and then four million. In June 2005, at a gala unveiling for designs of the new ballpark, Steinbrenner declared the team would stay in the Bronx. But at that time, the financing deal with the city had not been reached.

In early 2006, the city’s Economic Development Corporation recommended how to make the stadium project eligible for more than $900 million in tax-exempt financing.

In a memo to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Andrew Alper, then the E.D.C. president, said the likely result of not providing the tax-free bonds “was the loss of the New York Yankees.” Alper said the Meadowlands “could easily be reconfigured to accommodate a stadium for the relocation of a major league baseball franchise” and that the Yankees’ appeal would let them relocate “within the tri-state area, the country and even internationally.”

Earlier this week the Federal tax officials ruled that they would "allow the Yankees and the Mets to issue a new round of city-issued tax-exempt bonds worth hundreds of millions of dollars for their new homes in the Bronx and Queens."
Critics of public subsidies for sports teams were dismayed by the long-awaited ruling. “This is the same kind of socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the rest of us that’s gotten us into the current economic mess,” said Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Democrat from Westchester.
While this does seem like another case of the rich getting richer at the expense of the tax payer, I have to be honest, I'm no expert on this financial stuff, so I'll let those of you who know more about this than I do discuss it further. What I will say is that the last thing I'd want to see is the Yankees moving out of the Bronx, especially if that would have meant moving to Jersey. So based solely on that, I'm glad they got what they wanted.


Anonymous said...

“It’s been no secret for many years”

Well, leaving New York behind altogether is news to me.

I find it disgusting that they would humor any kind of idea to leave New York.

I mean, this is what us loyal Yankee fans get?
Listen, Randy Levine- your name even sounds douchey- how about you show loyalty to New York, huh?

You rape your loyal New York based fans with ticket prices and concession prices, and you would have the audacity to pick up and leave New York in the middle of the night?

I hate you Randy Levine.

Pardon my hysteria. I feel insulted by this. It really rubs me the wrong way.

Yeah, they're not going anywhere, I understand. But this "tradition" bullshit would've been hard to swallow because a billion dollar entity couldn't find a way to stay in it's signature city so they move to save some money.

You know how to save money? Don't sign Kei Igawa for $40M if you weren't so hot on his abilities in the first place.

Again, pardon my hysteria.

Greg Cohen said...

No problem, I totally understand your anger about this.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me when fans cannot see the business side of a sport. Don't get me wrong, I would have lost my shit if the Yanks left the Bronx. But my anger would have been at the city that let such an iconic team leave. Not the business that sought wealth elsewhere. Tradition lies with the fans, not with the suits. That's why there's no reason at all to get pissy with Randy Levine when he's doing his job.

Anonymous said...

Randy Levine and Hank Steinbrenner, a match made in hell.

Anonymous said...

In danger of losing the Yankees without public financing?!!! Screw you Levine. This is really insulting how stupid does this organization think that you joe fan actually is!! A franchise worth 3 billion that pulls in revenue world wide, has a pay roll that is a quarter of a billion dollars after the luxury tax wouldn't have been able to stay in Bronx?.... Carnies and rubes my friends...They think we're dumb rubes.

Anonymous said...

To the guy looking at the business side of it. You have a point, that's way business is today. It's capitalism, teams do business with corporations and not fans, that's the free market. But then why is it the public's responsibility to subsidize their projects and business ventures without any public oversight?

Mike said...

It's nice to know that things are going so well in this country that congress can take some time to look into this BS!

How about looking into how these congress people turned a blind eye as trillions of our hard earned dollars were stolen from us?

How about looking into having a fair presidential election?

How about figuring out a way to end 2 wars?

No, they will interview a chump 2 bit lawyer about a baseball stadium instead.

What scum these people are....pure scum.

(sorry Greg...didn't mean to rant)

Greg Cohen said...

No problem Mike, rant away.

By the way, I agree with a lot of what you said.

Anonymous said...

Who will be a better VP?
Joe Biden or Tina Fey?

Anonymous said...


I'm not really arguing that it is the public's responsibility. But the point is if NYC's government doesn't make that decision, another city's government will. Let's take our passion out of the equation for a moment. Businesses get breaks to move to a location all the time. Google just set up shop in Lenoir, NC because the city gave them a ridiculous amount of land. For free. And the reason the city did this was for the revenue the company would generate. Now back to the Yankees and public funding. How much money do you think that "business" generates for not only the area around the stadium, but for the city as a whole?

Mike said...

Tina Fay, Faye Raye, Tina Turner...any of them.

Anonymous said...

all these "rants" have so much validity to them, good points you guys brought up. 1.) the Kei Igawa point was spot-on from anon#1, 2.) good point on congress mike. They don't have anything more important to do??

Mike B. said...

I'm with both Danny and Mike! Well stated, guys.

For years I heard that Yanks were thinking of moving to New Jersey, and I'm convinced they would have done so. And then, sad to say, my days as a real Yankees fan would have been over, kaput, dead. When the Giants and Jets left The City, so too did my fanaticism toward them (more Jets than Giants, but I did indeed root for them both) and to this day I like to see them win but truly feel they don't really represent NYC anymore. There was no way I'd travel to NJ to see the Yanks play. I get the creeps just thinking of it.

By the way--yes indeedy, the name "Randy Levine" does indeed sound "douchey." I'd also say "dweebie" but for the fact that to me that phrase best fits Cashman.

At any rate, I, too, am glad the Yanks got what they want.

Again, way to go Danny and Mike. You bet they think we're rubes, and can you even imagine Congress wasting it's @#$%ing time with this sort of stuff? I'm going somewhere to calm down. Geez.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the NJ baseball cap Levine thought would sell so well.

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