Field of Schemes
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November 15, 2005

Hidden costs of the NYC stadium deals

This week's Village Voice (online today, dead-tree version tomorrow) carries my latest analysis of the hidden costs of the New York Yankees and Mets stadium deals. The upshot: at least $800 million in public subsidies, plus possibly hundreds of millions more for such unknowns as transit improvements, lost parking fees, and cost overruns.

For those of you who followed the link here from the Village Voice website, here's a recap of the latest breakdown of public costs. (For a full explanation of where these numbers come from, see my previous posts on this topic here and here.)

  • YANKEES: $379-469 million ($140m in city funds, $15m in city rent rebates on current stadium, $0-90m in Metropolitan Transportation Authority capital expenses, $55m in tax-exempt bond subsidies, $44m in property-tax savings, $22m in sales-tax breaks on construction materials, $103m in forgone city rent revenues)
  • METS: $435 million ($85m in city funds, $15m in city rent rebates on current stadium, $75m in state funds, $96m in forgone city parking revenues, $55m in tax-exempt bond subsidies, $39m in property-tax savings, $16m in sales-tax breaks on construction materials, $54m in forgone city rent revenues)
  • NETS: $399 million ($100m in city funds, $100m in state funds, $50m in tax-exempt bond savings, $21m in property-tax savings, $14m in sales-tax breaks on construction materials, $114m in discounted land price)
TOTAL: $1.213 billion

These figures have been newly recalculated at a 6% discount rate, and are meant to be conservative - they don't include, for example, such items as the public cost of erecting parking garages for the Yanks (since the state has claimed this will be paid off by new parking revenues, though that was before the garage cost apparently jumped by $160 million), or Bronx transit improvements that are contained in the MTA budget and so not technically part of the Yankees deal, or the mysterious $163 million in Nets "extraordinary infrastructure" costs that the city and state could be asked to pay for, according to the community group Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn.

And speaking of DDDb, looks like they had quite the walkathon on Sunday. Sorry I missed it - I'm always a fan of anything involving a marching accordion section.

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