After the city has been taken to task in recent months for its dealings with the Yankees in the process of financing the team's new stadium--so far as being accused that it served no public interest--it can't be good PR for the Bloomberg administration for everyone to know just how strongly they pushed to get the best luxury box possible for themselves. Well new e-mails made public do just that in revealing how the mayor's office put on a full court press in its attempts to obtain a luxury box at the new Yankee Stadium.
E-mail correspondence published in the Times reveals the following:
- The city was very concerned with the box's field location. After an 8-seat box was agreed upon, they demanded a 12.
- They tried to demand that food be comped as it is for those who pay for their box.
- City lawyers threatened to not make the request to the I.R.S. for the use of the tax-exempt financing unless the Yankees would consider providing the luxury suite.
- The Yankees received 250 parking spaces originally to be designated as public parking.
- The team was provided with access to three billboards along the Deegan and the revenue they generate--likely to be around $750,000 annually.
- The city attempted to attain the luxury box not just for regular season games, but for playoffs and special events as well.
- A high ranking city official involved in negotiations said at one point that he "did not trust (Yankees President) Randy Levine."
- The idea of the box being used as a reward for exceptional city workers--something touted by the administration--was not mentioned in two and a half years of correspondence and only came up recently.
- The luxury box was called "a big issue for the mayor."
In response to all this, Westchester Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said, “We can’t find the money for the M.T.A., or schools, or hospitals, and these folks are used to the perks and good things of life, and expect them.”
A spokesman for the mayor said, “As a matter of equity, it was important to us throughout the negotiations that the Yankees were not exempted from such gives or treated any differently than other teams.”