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IS STEINBRENNER'S THREAT BLUSTER, OR IS IT TIME TO DEAL?
Published June 8, 1998
New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone "refused to drop his call" on Friday for a referendum on any new Yankee stadium, one day after team Owner George Steinbrenner said Vallone's actions could led him to relocate his team out of New York, according to Michael Finnegan of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Vallone said he was "definitely proceeding with" the stadium referendum, adding that city voters "must be allowed to decide whether taxpayer money is spent on the nation's most expensive ballpark at a time when many public schools are in disrepair." NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani "added to the extraordinary pressure" on Vallone, "echoing" Steinbrenner's statements, and saying that the city "must be able to offer Steinbrenner a Manhattan ballpark" if the team decides to leave Yankee Stadium (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/8). NO CHANCE TO WIN VOTE? In N.Y., Clifford Levy wrote an analysis of Giuliani's opposition to a referendum under the header, "Sensing A Defeat." He wrote that Giuliani is looking to avoid a vote as, "stadium naysayers here, as in similar votes elsewhere, would seem to have the upper hand" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/6). In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote that Steinbrenner uses "vague threats" in talks of a new stadium, but "never comes out and tells us exactly what he wants" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/7). Also in N.Y., Dave Anderson wrote, "[E]verybody should know that whenever [Steinbrenner] talks about taking his team anywhere, he's bluffing" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/7). But a N.Y. POST editorial titled "Steinbrenner Is Serious," stated that, "Whatever else Steinbrenner may be, he isn't a loose cannon. ... When he says Jersey, he means Jersey" (N.Y. POST, 6/6). A N.Y. TIMES editorial stated that while the "referendum Mr. Vallone desires is unlikely to enhance public discourse" of a facility, it is his "right to raise the issue of public financing." The paper concluded: "The universe of private financing options is a lot wider than Mr. Steinbrenner and the other lords of baseball let on" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/6).