For the most part, I have completely shied away from the controversy surrounding New Yankee Stadium. Honestly, I don’t really care. But I read this article today and I have to admit: I don’t know why there is all the outrage.
From what I understand, the Yankees are paying for every cent of the new stadium themselves – BUT they were given bonds to do this that were not taxed – and now want more untaxed bonds to cover overrun expenses. So then, the city, and thus the taxpayers, are losing money they could be collecting in taxes.
But are they really? Isn’t giving the Yankees tax-exempt bonds in the public’s best interest? Aren’t WE the ones who are going to be using the stadium? Doesn’t the construction of the stadium create a ton of new jobs in a struggling economy? Won’t the bigger stadium require more jobs once built (from what I understand, yes by a lot)? Won’t more people come out to a game and come to New York and spend money?
Yes, the stadium will create revenues for the Yankees and that’s the point, partly. If the Yankees make more money – and most people are saying they will – that means that more people must be spending money. Spending money is what stimulates the economy. I’m no economist, but that seems pretty simple.
Sure the city could benefit from having more tax revenue. But what if the alternative is that the Yankees simply wouldn’t build a new stadium? Isn’t that much worse for all the reasons I just mentioned?
Essentially what the Yankees are saying is they want to build something for the community but don’t want to pay taxes to build it. I find that to be completely reasonable.
The title of the article I linked to is “Yankees want us to pay for fancy johns.” How are we paying? If the stadium was NOT built, we wouldn’t see any more money. Not to mention, those “fancy johns” are for us to use. This stadium is being built for us. Sure, the Yankees are building it so they can make more money, but how is that different than any business that provides a service. It’s a service that makes the community better, but of course you still want to make money from it. Isn’t it in the government’s best interest to help businesses that want to provide a better service and be able to generate more revenue?
The Yankees are part of the city and they are part of the community. What is good for them is good for us.