i might be wrong....
i might be wrong....
So Rudy is getting his wish. An agreement was signed Friday for the city to pay half the costs of building two new stadiums for the New York baseball teams. (the agreement must be approved by new Mayor Bloomberg).
I already stated in my comments yesterday that I am against this deal. Let me reiterate. Please.
I am a baseball fan. I am a Yankees fan. But I just don't think that this deal is all they are making it out to be. The main P.R. angle to the deal seems to be how "good" for the city the new stadiums will be and how it will boost the economy.
Someone please explain to me the boost the ecomomy theory. The current seating capacity of Yankee Stadium is 57,545. According to the Newsday article, the capacity of the new stadium will be 47,000. The current seating capacity for Shea stadium is 55,601. The new capacity will be 45,000. So both teams will be losing approximately 10,000 seats.
You would think that team owners would have learned by now that it is not a brand new stadium that puts fans in the ballpark. It is the team on the field. Builid it and they will come does not hold water in pro sports. If your team stinks, your brand new, luxurious, shining stadium will be empty. If your team is winning, even a rickety old arena would be filled to capacity. It's the nature of the sports fan. They might be lulled into a false sense of fandom for a week or so by the new food stands and pretty parking lot and jumbo scoreboard, but lose 5 games in a row and they will disappear fast. Maybe I don't get it. Can someone please explain to me how these stadiums will help the economy? If they are going to bring less fans rather than more to the ballgames, that can't help, can it? And you know damn well that the fans will be paying in the end with higher ticket prices, higher parking fees and more expensive food. So now, in addition to paying for the bloated salaries of Mo Vaughn and Jason Giambi, we have to foot the bill for retractable domes, too.
I've heard it stated many times in the past few months that New York City is in a fiscal crisis. Large budget deficits are expected the next few years. How can the city shell out this kind of money towards baseball? How is a retractable dome going to help the economy of Queens or the Bronx, or anywhere in NYC? What difference will it make to those small business that were destroyed on 9/11 that the Yankees can now play without threat of a rain delay? Is that our priority? What difference will it make to the teacher who doesn't have enough textbooks to give her students or has to teach in a makeshift classroom no bigger than a closet that Shea stadium is more accesible from the parkway now? Do you think the members of the firehouses that have to close down due to budget constraints will have their worries lessened any by the knowledge that you can now get bratwurst at a Yankee game?
If the city had a surplus of money, I would not be ranting about this. But just a few weeks ago, Rudy was begging people from other states and countries to come here and spend their money to help New York recover economically. I get this ugly feeling when I hear Rudy spout off his "good for New York" theory about the new stadiums. It smacks of opportunism. Rudy was always a baseball fan first and foremost and he was pushing for new stadiums for a long time.
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to look at the giant blue toilet bowl that is Shea Stadium when I drive through Queens in the future. I wouldn't mind better parking at Yankee Stadium. But not now. Not when so much money could be used in more productive ways.
I know I will face a lot of disagreement on this issue. If someone could show me hard facts on how these stadiums will boost the economy and pay for themselves, I will be more than happy to post those facts right here and disprove my own rant.