January 15, 2009
New York City Assemblyman Richard Brodsky is mad as heck at the Yankees' request for more than $370 million in tax-exempt bonds to help pay for Yankee Stadium II, which is on top of the $942.5 million in such bonds the franchise received in 2006. At a hearing yesterday, Brodsky contended that the Yankees are just trying to avoid paying property taxes, but he himself has been criticized for favoritism in supporting tax breaks for a racetrack. (Corruption? In New York??) The Industrial Development Agency will vote on the matter Friday. See the New York Times. My understanding was the Yankees were going to pay for most of the construction cost, but it would take a degree in accounting to figure out whether that is true after all the implicit subsidies are factored in.
MLB.com is just now reporting a story that is nearly ten days old: that Bud Selig plans to allow the Athletics to move to Santa Clara County (which is supposed to be in the Giants' territory) if the A's can't get a good enough ballpark deal from Fremont. Of course, this is probably just a bargaining ploy, to get Fremont city officials to cough up more dough. A's owner Lew Wolff implicitly acknowledges this, saying the A's won't consider San Jose unless the Fremont project collapses. Chances that the A's will move further south and become the "San Jose Athletics" are probably no more likely than the then-insolvent Montreal franchise relocating to Puerto Rico and becoming the "San Juan Expos" was back in 2003-2004, an obvious case of leveraging one prospective franchise city against another. (Link via freshcontent.net.)
... from the good folks at Save Tiger Stadium:
The Tiger Stadium Conservancy has started the new year with two pieces of good news: State Representative Morris Hood III has joined the Conservancy's Board of Directors and Governor Jennifer Granholm signed Public Act 448 into law, giving the redevelopment of Tiger Stadium an additional 15 percent in state historic tax credits -- estimated at over $4 million -- towards the total project cost.