Still no agreement for Bronx soccer stadium as clock ticks down

Inauguration day for incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is just one day away, which means today is D-day for outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $350 million Bronx soccer stadium plan for NYC F.C. The project got slammed yesterday in an op-ed in the New York Daily News by Good Jobs New York’s Bettina Damiani and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s Veronica Vanterpool, which noted that not only could the plan pile more tax subsidies on top of those that were handed out to the adjacent Yankees stadium project, but could cost jobs as well, by displacing an elevator-parts company that “has more than 350 employees, and last year was awarded New York State financing to install one of the city’s largest solar panel arrays.”

Meanwhile, the timetable for a decision on the project could be getting longer: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz told a private meeting yesterday (and his office confirmed to me today) that as of this moment, there’s still no memorandum of understanding between the city and the Yankees (who are negotiating on behalf of their partners at NYC F.C.) on a stadium plan. Since Bloomberg’s whole scheme was reportedly to dump an agreement in de Blasio’s lap with a deadline — approve it within a month or two, or the deal’s off — this raises the likelihood that the Bronx community activists who are pushing for some community benefits from the stadium will have time to get their say. Unless Bloomberg has an MOU in his desk drawer that he’s planning on revealing at the stroke of midnight, of course — something that would be not entirely unprecedented in New York mayoral history.

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