They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot 

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The new Yankee Stadium is smaller than the old one. But when the team insisted in 2006 that it needed 2,000 extra parking spots, the New York City Industrial Development Agency issued 237 million dollars in tax exempt bonds for an expanded parking system–paving over the neighborhood’s only regulation baseball diamonds to do it.

The Yankees insisted from the beginning that they needed 9,000 parking spots, 2,000 more than before. They even made it a legal condition for not moving out of the Bronx.

To get the aforementioned spots, baseball diamonds in the neighborhood were paved over. Replacement fields were promised, but the city has yet to deliver. Worse, the new garages are sitting two-thirds empty, and they owe the city millions in back rent they’re now struggling to collect.

To be sure, this type of greed (where a team makes incredible demands of a city as a condition for staying) isn’t unique to the Yankees; it’s endemic to the business of sports. That doesn’t make it any less deplorable, however.


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