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July 31, 2008

The Yankees deal gets some more scrutiny, AY gets a mention

Atlantic Yards Report

Coverage is given to yesterday's Democracy Now! broadcast which included a segment on public subsidies for sports complexes. Congressional scrutiny into funding for the new Yankee Stadium might effect how the proposed Nets arena could be financed.

The program was hosted by Juan Gonzalez and included Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Good Jobs New York's Bettina Damani and Field of Schemes author Neil deMause.

The Atlantic Yards mention is included in this quote from Kucinich:

I can say that my subcommittee staff… is in contact with officials from both the city of New York and the New York Yankees to discuss their potential appearance in front of our Congressional subcommittee. I think that it’s very important to understand that we’re looking at a public policy matter here that relates not only to New York and not only to the Nets and the Atlantic Yard project, but it also relates to the whole country… because it’s quite possible that there are billions of dollars in tax benefits that should be going to municipalities for the purposes of repairing their infrastructure and for schools and other things and that are instead being diverted for these private sports complexes…
(Emphasis added)

Damiani points out how representatives from outside of New York City are picking up the slack to see if there will really be any benefits from subsidizing sports complexes:

The city has really washed their hands of making sure there’s any accountability on jobs and clear benefits for New Yorkers on the other side of this project, which is very unfortunate. I mean, we’re grateful for Congressman Kucinich and Assembly Member [Richard] Brodsky to get involved in this issue. Neither represent New York City, by the way. New York City elected officials—they’re filling a void, because local elected officials in New York City have refused to get involved in this project. And we need them. We need them to make sure that the promises in the press releases actually turn out to be something that we can hold them accountable for.

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NoLandGrab: Many thanks to Rep. Kucinich for running with this issue. Also, thanks to Democracy Now! for examining public subsidies for Yankee Stadium. We're looking forward to more in-depth coverage that will include the proposed Nets arena.

Posted by steve at July 31, 2008 6:37 AM