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Baseball Stadium

by Gotham Gazette Staff, May 02, 2005
 Â  Untitled Document

BASEBALL STADIUMS

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Yankee Stadium

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SkyDome (Rogers Centre)

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SBC Park


PNC Park

Location:

South Bronx next to current ballpark

Toronto, Canada San Francisco, California Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Date: Spring 2009 (projected) 1989 2000 2001
Uses: New York Yankee baseball games Toronto Blue Jays baseball games, Canadian football games, concerts and other events. San Francisco Giants baseball games, concerts, other events. Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, concerts, job fairs, and other events.
Size: Seats 50,900 people Seats 50,516 Seats 41,503 people Seats 38,496 people
Projected Cost: $800 million $600 million (Canadian) $319 million $262 million
Public Cost: $300 million from New York City for a new Metro-North station. The city will also have to build parkland along the waterfront and better parking facilities around the stadium. $262 million (Canadian) Public land donated. Also $15 million in tax increment financing by the city, which the Giants must pay back to the city with interest. $219 million ($143 million from city; $75 million from state).
Private Financing: $800 million for stadium paid for by Yankees 30 different corporations paid $5 million each and Canada’s three major breweries also contributed $5 million each. $70 million for naming rights, advertising partnerships and other sources, another $70 million from the sale of charter seat licenses, and a $155 million loan to the Giants from Chase Securities. $44 million from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Also $30 million over 20 years from PNC Bank for naming rights.
Voter Referendum? No No Yes Yes. With 70 percent of the vote, citizens rejected a taxpayer-financed stadium.
At Issue: For years, the Yankees have tried in the past to build a new stadium, either on the west side of Manhattan or at the location for the proposed stadium at 161st Street. In the past, the Yankees have demanded large public subsidies, but now say they will pay for the stadium themselves. However, the team is still asking the city and state to pay $300 million for surrounding infrastructure. The Yankees and city officials say they will announce an agreement and more details in early May 2005. By the time the stadium was completed, it costs significantly more than predicted and the Ontario government was left responsible for the debt. The main issue in San Francisco was who should pay for the new stadium. In four referendums, voters rejected public financing for the ballpark. A fifth referendum in 1996 approved the Giants’ use of public land in China Basin to build the stadium with private financing. The Pacific Telesis Group paid $53 million in 1996 to name the ballpark Pacific Bell Park through 2019. SBC Communications bought the company and in 1997 changed the name of to SBC Park. In November 1997, voters in 11 counties rejected a plan to raise taxes to build a new stadium. City and state officials ignored the voters and built it with mostly with public funds. The city of Pittsburgh funded its $143 million share through a sales tax. Three-term Mayor Tom Murphy recently announced that he would not be seeking another term after 11 years of fights on the budget, stadiums, and economic development.
Benefits Promised:

The Yankees promise that the new stadium will also help create parkland, retail shops, and restaurants, and parkland for the South Bronx.

City planners said they had learned their lesson after building Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, which has been called “Canada’s monument to mismanagement,” and promised to build a ballpark that would turn a profit. Developers promised to build a privately financed stadium that would be accessible by public transit and help spur housing, retail, and restaurant development in the surrounding area. One of the main objectives of the new ballpark was to keep the Pirates from fleeing to another city. It is also part of plan to revitalize downtown Pittsburgh; in addition to games, it hosts a variety of events and is surrounded by retail stores and restaurants.
Benefits Delivered: The stadium has had financial difficulties in recent years. The ownership filed for bankruptcy protection in November 1998 and Sportsco International LP bought the stadium out of bankruptcy for $85 million CDN. In February 2005, Rogers Communications, the owner of the Blue Jays, bought the stadium for $25 million. The Toronto Argonauts, a Canadian football team, is now in negotiations to relocate to an outdoor stadium at York University in 2007. San Francisco’s ballpark is often hailed as the first privately funded ballpark built for Major League Baseball since Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. The stadium is accessible by numerous forms of public transit, including buses, streetcars, light rail, the Bay Area Rapid Transit System and ferry service. City officials boast of 6,000 apartments that have been created as a result. The Pirates stayed in Pittsburgh. The downtown area has seen some revitalization, but the city continues to struggle financially, raising taxes and laying off city workers.


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