Field of Schemes
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March 24, 2011

Yankees garages not headed for default by April 1?

A major bondholder for the New York Yankees' parking garages now says the garage owner won't be defaulting on its April 1 bond payment, contrary to a previous Crain's report. Nuveen Asset Management tells Bloomberg News that Bronx Parking Development Co. should be able to make the $6.9 million payment by tapping $5.5 million from a reserve fund.

If so, that's nice, but only forestalls the inevitable: The reserve fund will now be down to $11 million, which means at this rate it would be tapped out after the next two bond payments, scheduled for this October and next April. The hope, presumably, is that it'll be enough to tide things over until this year's price hikes from $23 per car to $35 kick in. Assuming that this doesn't encourage more people to ride the train, or park at a nearby mall, or just skip going to see the Yankees altogether, which could reduce or eliminate any hoped-for windfall.

If it helps any, the Yankees have just announced a bunch of discounted ticket plans for the upcoming season, after selling less than 90% of their tickets last year for a second straight season. (I know, that doesn't sound so bad, but five other MLB teams beat that mark, and none of them play in the New York market, or were coming off a World Series win.) Not that that will necessarily draw the sorts of fans you expect to shell out $35 for parking, but it can't hurt.

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