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October 26, 2009
Yanks' latest stadium problem: Crumbling ramps
While the New York Yankees were winning the A.L. pennant this weekend, they were getting bad news about their six-month-old stadium, which turns out to have cracks in some of its concrete ramps. While a team spokesperson said the cracks were "cosmetic" and don't pose a safety hazard, the New York Times cited unnamed sources as saying that repairs could cost several million dollars.
While no one's saying for sure, the widespread speculation is that the faulty concrete may be related to the city's ongoing concrete-inspection scandal, in which inspectors have been accused of charging for quality tests that they never performed, and which has widened to include allegations of mobsters working as city building inspectors. The new Yankee Stadium has previously been established to be one of the buildings inspected by the now-indicted Testwell Laboratories — along with the Freedom Tower — but city officials insisted at the time that it was unlikely to cause hazards because, in the Times' words, "most of the concrete poured in New York is of a high quality."
Not mentioned in any of the articles: Who'll be on the hook for paying the cost of fixing the stadium ramps, as well as any other problems that arise. The Yankees agreed to pay all maintenance costs for the new stadium (in exchange for not paying any rent), so presumably they'll be paying for the patch job. But given that this is a project that involved one city agency, one private contractor, and at least two construction contractors — one of which has previously been accused of mob ties — I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some lawsuits down the road over this.