I was in New York City over the weekend and took in a game at Yankee Stadium. The new ballpark is going up across the street and looks impressive. I was one of the many Yankee fans (OK, I realize that phrase just cost me with some readers), opposed to abandoning the stadium- hallowed ground, such as it is - but watching three games over the past two years has sobered me to the shortcomings of the ballpark. In a lot of ways, it is grimy and outdated.
Just what does all this have to do with a blog about subsidies? Plenty.
The new Yankee Stadium is going to cost $1.3 billion. Yes, billion. That's more than the price tag of program to renovate Buffalo's public schools - with four-hundred-million left over.
Now, if this was George Steinbrenner's money, who cares? But the stadium is highly subsidized.
The politic ans who put the deal together put the subsidy figure at $400 million. Good Jobs First of New York has calculated the cost at nearly $800 million. The city, state and feds are all kicking in. Here's a report and another report detailing the history of the project.
Public costs continue to climb. The new stadium is being built on public park land and The New York Times recently reported:
"The price of the new small parks — which are to replace tennis and basketball courts, a running track and baseball and soccer fields eliminated to make way for the new stadium — is now projected to be $174 million, almost one-seventh the cost of the $1.3 billion stadium itself. The original estimate had been $95.5 million."
If you're interested in what the new stadium is looking like, a blog called Sliding Into Home has these photos.