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April 6, 2012

Yankee Stadium controversy down the memory hole: prominent coverage of belated ballfields, no dissenters heard

Atlantic Yards Report

Beaten again by AYR (and FOS)! But we wondered too how The Times was incapable of finding anyone still upset by the Yankees park grab.

Perhaps what Mayor Mike Bloomberg once said about the Atlantic Yards arena--“Nobody's going to remember how long it took, they're only going to look and see that it was done” --applies to the promises regarding the Yankee Stadium.

I wasn't the only person to notice something odd about the prominent and uniformly positive New York Times coverage today of the ballfields finally built to replace those lost for Yankee Stadium, A Public Park to Rival the Yankees’ Playground, complete with a front-page photo in both local and national editions.

Neil deMause wrote on Field of Schemes, New Bronx ballfields open, six years after old ones razed by Yankees:

For those of you who've been wondering when the new public ballfields on the site of the original Yankee Stadium would finally be opening, well, here they are, only 16 months late, and nearly six years after the neighborhood's old ballfields were bulldozed to make way for the Yankees' new $2 billion stadium and parking garages. As the New York Daily News reports, "The new fields are open to local kids, but only when not under maintenance or being used by teams that buy permits."

Curious choices

de Mause pointed out that the Times never covered "the actual debates over whether [to] build the Yankees' new stadium" that prominently. Remember the Yankees' dubious claim that they would move to New Jersey--away from their historic home and the city's media market--without sufficient subsidies and government help?

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Field of Schemes, New Bronx ballfields open, six years after old ones razed by Yankees

What's this? A critic has come out of hiding?

Jordan Moss of Bronx Matters further notes that "in a story regarding a land use issue this big for the Bronx an interview or two with one of the prominent local activists or former community board members who opposed the stadium deal (they were ditched from CB4 by then-BP Adolfo Carrion, Jr.) would have been warranted..."

The New York Times, A Public Park to Rival the Yankees’ Playground

Even onetime opponents of the stadium deal are coming around. “I figured they were going to pull a fast one and give us a little corner somewhere,” said Jerry Figueroa, 43, as he watched his son play ball. “But they’ve made a believer out of me.”

Paul Bales, who exercises in the new parks, said he used to hear people carping about their lost parks at every turn, on trains and buses and in convenience stores.

“Now nobody’s complaining,” Mr. Bales, 40, said. “Everybody got what they wanted: the fans got their stadium, and the community got their parks back. Everything is better.”

NoLandGrab: Aw, everyone loves a happy ending.

Posted by eric at April 6, 2012 10:04 PM