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THE BRONX BOOTERS? MLS INTERESTED IN YANKEE STADIUM
Published April 23, 1998
MLS officials say they're "extremely interested in operating a franchise within the five boroughs to join the MetroStars," according to Seifman & Hardt of the N.Y. POST. MLS Commissioner Doug Logan said the league has "always" had plans to bring a second team to N.Y., but that league officials have "been kind of scratching our heads, wondering where we could go." NYC officials "have a ready answer" -- Yankee Stadium, if the Yankees move out, "could play host" to an MLS team. NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani: "If we could find a suitable site, we could have a soccer franchise now. It's a sport that draws 20,000 to 22,000 people per game." A spokesperson for Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer said that an MLS team is "an idea worth considering" if it plays "when the Yankees aren't in town" (N.Y. POST, 4/23). NEW OLD STUDY: A '96 study of the economic impact of a Manhattan stadium for the Yankees projected that it would generate $102.5M per year for NYC, "far less" than the $1B projected by city officials in a new report. Smith College Professor Andrew Zimbalist, on the studies: "There has not been an independent study by an economist for any stadium built over the last 30 years that suggests you can anticipate a positive economic impact. One has to take these claims with a grain of salt" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/23). YANKEE DOODLES: More reax from Mayor Giuliani's corporate tax plan to fund stadiums for the Yankees and Mets appeared in today's N.Y. dailies. Bob Herbert of the TIMES: "If the new stadiums are such gold mines, then why aren't private investors rushing to finance their construction? The answer is that private interests can make a lot of money from the stadiums as long as they don't have to pay to build them. The real gold mine is the city treasury, and Mr. Giuliani has graciously invited [Yankees Owner, George] Steinbrenner and [Mets Owner, Fred] Wilpon to come in and stake their claims" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/23) ....The DAILY NEWS' Jim Dwyer writes that the Yankees and Mets "are not struggling businesses that need government handouts to survive" (DAILY NEWS, 4/23)....NYC Council Speaker Peter Vallone wrote in today's DAILY NEWS under the header "New Stadium? Ask Taxpayers First." Vallone: "I, like many others in our city, personally oppose the Yankees moving from the Bronx to Manhattan, but if New York's taxpayers want it, I will agree to it" (DAILY NEWS, 4/23).