Macombs Dam Park Blog: IDA Vote 2009 Jan 16 for Yankees

January 22nd, 2009 Posted in Blogs, Front Page News, UnBLOGlievable!, Yankee Stadium Redevelopment


I’m sending a note to let you know the outcome of today’s IDA vote regarding additional financing for the new Yankees and Mets’ stadiums.

While most board members voted in favor of additional financing for the Yankees, John Graham, the alternate for Comptroller Thompson, voted against the proposal. In explaining his vote, he cited numerous concerns regarding previously unknown cost increases and questions about the project left unanswered by the IDA.

In addition, Bernard Haber, the Queens Borough President’s appointee to the board, abstained from the Yankees vote. Mr. Haber questioned the hundreds of millions in cost increases for the Yankees project since the IDA board initially approved it in 2006. The total vote was 11 in favor, one in opposition, and one abstention.

All members voted in favor of the additional financing for the Mets.

A few brief comments on the board meeting:

Representatives for the Yankees and Mets each made presentations during the hearing, which goes against standard IDA practice. By the IDA’s own rules, comments in favor or opposition to projects are limited to public hearings (one took place yesterday). At all the IDA board meetings Good Jobs New York has attended over the years, never before have we seen project applicants speak in favor of their projects during these meetings.

Only seven members of the board were present during yesterday’s public hearing, while 13 were present to vote today.

IDA staff presented a summary of public comments on the projects and responded to these. However, a number of concerns and questions remain unanswered, Among the many:

What will be the average wage of the part-time and contract workers, as these will be the majority of additional new employees at Yankee Stadium?

What accounts for the threefold increase of estimated tax benefits from the construction and operation of Yankee stadium since the project was initially approved in 2006? And what accounts for the large increase for the Mets’ Stadium? These figures are key in the city’s claim that fiscal benefits from these projects outweigh public costs, yet they remain a mystery.

What are the costs and benefits of these additional financings?

Some of the testimony from yesterday’s public hearing is available on our website:

Please let me know if you have questions or would like to discuss.



Allison A. Lack

Research Analyst

Good Jobs New York

11 Park Place, #701

New York, NY 10007

tel: 212-721-4865

fax: 212-721-5415

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