SBD/Issue 72/Facilities & Venues

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  • Giuliani Has A Late Talk With Letterman About Ballparks

    N.Y. Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared on "The Late Show" with David Letterman last night, and Letterman asked Giuliani about his plans to build two new ballparks in N.Y. at a cost of about $800M each to the city. Giuliani said, "We've negotiated ... what I think is a very good deal because it has both the Yankees and the Mets staying in New York for 35 years — usually these deals are for 20 — so that's guaranteed. We would build two new ballparks and the teams would split the cost of it 50-50 with the city, and the state would do all the infrastructure work." Giuliani, on the city needing new ballparks as it currently owns both Shea and Yankee Stadium: "All the cost of repairs falls on the city. So, in a way, you are throwing good money after bad because it costs us millions of dollars a year to keep up these two old ballparks. It makes much more sense for us to enter into a sensible economic deal to build two modern ballparks. Get the additional revenue we would get from that. It'll cost us money, but it will cost them money also" ("The Late Show," CBS, 12/27). In his farewell address yesterday, Giuliani indirectly addressed ballpark opponents by saying, "This city has a strand in it, a very dangerous one, that opposes development of any kind, anywhere, any place. And then it wonders why unemployment is high. Well, if you are not building and rebuilding and building again and recreating, then the city just atrophies. It just dies. The physical structure of the city has to be rebuilt like the human structure of the city is rebuilt. And the city should never again go back to the anti-development philosophy." During the address, Giuliani mentioned the return of baseball to Brooklyn and Staten Island as notable developments of his administration (N.Y. TIMES, 12/28). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser, on Giuliani's ballpark proposals: "I really don't understand it, unless he's looking to get his name on a stadium. He is better than this. This, I think, is a mistake" (ESPN, 12/27).

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