THE BRONX BOOTERS? MLS INTERESTED IN YANKEE STADIUM
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).