When last we left off with New York City Football Club trillionaire owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s proposed $400 million soccer stadium in the Bronx (projected public cost in tax breaks and free land: something like $150 million or so), everyone was wondering what mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s reaction was going to be to outgoing mayor Mike Bloomberg’s deal, given that de Blasio has a mixed record on subsidized development projects. And now, the great wizard has spoken, or at least his spokesperson has:
Lis Smith, a de Blasio spokeswoman, said, “We have real concerns about investing scarce public resources and forgoing revenue to support the creation of an arena for a team co-owned by one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, and will review any plan with that in mind.”
That’s not exactly a “no,” but it sure ain’t a “yes.” Bloomberg is reportedly including a clause in the agreement that would require de Blasio to make a decision by March or the whole deal is off, but that could end up backfiring on Mansour if the new mayor says it’s not enough time to review the use of those public resources. Right now local elected officials aren’t exactly jumping all over themselves to back the deal — even Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who previously invited the team to move to his borough, has declared himself undecided, though in Bronxspeak that usually means “sweeten the pot, woudja?” — so expect some frantic lobbying after January 1 once the old guard has departed and fresh blood has arrived at City Hall.