Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bloomberg Unloads A Whopper About "Privately-Funded" NYC Ballparks

The Yankees and Mets are enjoying their brand new ballparks as the 09' season gears up. Unfortunately it is has become a lot harder for the fans to see their games as ticket prices have skyrocketed.

Don't tell that to Mayor Bloomberg though, he could care less about who is able to pay and who is not. As he says, baseball is a business and that's that. Although that is a cold assessment, I agree that professional sports is a business, it is just a shame that the Yankees and Mets business model doesn't include their less-than-wealthy fans. Bloomberg couldn't stop there though and he decided to at the very least, seriously mislead the public about how much taxpayer funds paid for those fancy new ballparks.

From The NY Daily News:

Yankees' principal owner George Steinbrenner and the Wilpon family for the Mets should be praised for their willingness to "go and make those investments" in the new parks, Bloomberg added.

"We put next to nothing into these two stadiums," Bloomberg said of public funding to support the ballparks, even though tax-free bonds paid for most of the construction costs.

Critics have charged that city spent hundreds of millions for neighborhood and transportation improvements around the ballparks. Bloomberg said "they fundamentally were done with private money."

The only investment Steinbrenner and the Wilpon's made was cajoling city officials into giving them hundreds of millions of dollars in municipal bonds and tax breaks. With a combination of schmoozing and threats to move to New Jersey. Bloomberg is either lying to us with those remarks, or he has no clue about our city's finances. Which one is it Mr. Mayor?