Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yankees Score, Mets on Deck

As expected, the City Council overwhelmingly approved the Yankee Stadium redevelopment plan yesterday. As the NY Times reports this morning the approval came "despite opposition from parks advocates and residents in the surrounding community, which is among the most impoverished in the city."

The critics who still see the stadium, in the words of Councilmember Helen Foster, as "a win-win for the Yankees and leftovers for the community", were drowned out in a sea of Yankee euphoria and exuberant cheerleading from the Bronx BP and the eight other Bronx councilmembers. It would be hard to imagine this level of complicity against the loss of public parkland in any other city community.

All of which now shifts the focus of attention to Queens and the Mets. The Council had planned to take up the issue of the PILOT financing of both stadiums next Wednesday, but in a late move yesterday the Met financing was removed from the scope of the Finance Committee hearing.

The change was spearheaded by Councilman Hiram Monserrate who, while supporting a new stadium for the Mets, wants to be sure that his community doesn't get shortchanged (see end of article) . The Yankee CBA has generated its share of critics but when compared with the Mets even more limited efforts it manages to look robust.

In response a meeting has been set up between the Mets and the Queens council delegation for this Friday. We expect that a series of demands will be put on the table as a kind of quid pro quo for the council's support of the stadium financing.