Times On How Stadiums Are A Ripoff For Fans

Published: November 4, 2008
Critics say that the new stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets will bring few lasting economic benefits for the city.

(T)he cost to taxpayers is anything but small, a review of the projects shows. Though the teams are indeed paying approximately $2 billion to erect the two stadiums, the cost to the city for infrastructure — parks, garages and transportation improvements — have jumped to about $458 million, from $281 million in 2005. The state is contributing an additional $201 million.

Those totals do not include an estimated $480 million in city, state and federal tax breaks granted to both teams. In addition, neither team has to pay rent or property taxes, though they are playing on city-owned land.

Yankee Stadium is being built atop what were once two popular public parks; the city has agreed to replace them, as well as a soccer field, baseball diamonds, basketball courts and a track. The estimated cost of replacing those parks and fields has climbed to $177 million from $129.2 million in 2005. Officials expect the number to rise by an additional 10 percent when the city issues an updated capital budget in the coming weeks.

The city is also spending about $35 million for roadwork and sewer connections for the stadium and $30 million more on design and planning, items that were not mentioned when the project was announced in 2005.