The projected public cost of a new New York Yankees stadium just took another upward jump: According to a new report from Good Jobs New York (PDF file here), direct and indirect subsidies “could exceed $480 million,” far more than the new tax revenues it would create. And it would create a mere 900 permanent jobs, for a dismal ratio of more than half a million dollars for each new job.
“Compared to other uses of the money, it is difficult to justify spending and foregoing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for poorly compensated jobs such as ticket takers, ushers, vendors, restaurant workers, and parking lot attendants,” wrote GJNY’s Bettina Damiani and Dan Steinberg. “As the largest sports and media market in the United States, New York has terrific bargaining power. This power should be used to insist that the Yankees exhaust every available option – including stadium renovation instead of replacement – with the goals of creating good jobs, lower taxpayer costs, better public health, and more vibrant public parks.”
The $480 million taxpayer cost estimate includes many of the rent and tax breaks previously discussed here, and unearthed additional public subsidies as well, ranging from a $22 million mortgage-recording tax break to the costs of relocating a water main. Steinberg says that while by necessity many of the report’s numbers are estimates, if anything he thinks they’re conservative ones. “We stand by our numbers,” he told fieldofschemes.com. “Any controversy around their accuracy is reflective of the city’s failure to disclose the true cost of the project.”