Economic Benefits In Question in New York Stadium Redevelopments

Stadium construction in New York that was intended to have only a small cost to taxpayers has turned out to be a major investment and allocation of tax breaks, causing many to question whether the economic benefits of rebuilding will ever be seen.
November 6, 2008, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"As the two stadiums near completion, the 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."

"The expanding public cost of the stadiums, coming in another downturn, has fueled debate about their economic benefits, and has become an issue in Congressional hearings in Washington into the use of tax-exempt bonds for stadium construction."

"The Bloomberg administration says that keeping the Yankees in the Bronx and the Mets in Queens not only creates temporary construction and permanent stadium jobs, but also is crucial to the city's image."

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Published on Monday, November 3, 2008 in The New York Times
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