Bloomberg Halts Mets –Yankees Stadium Deals
Bloomberg Halts Mets –Yankees
By Elio Velez
Mayor Bloomberg put a stop to the tentative new stadiums deal that was reached by Rudy Giuliani last month. Bloomberg announced at City Hall that due to the city budget crisis, the city would not start building the new stadiums until at least 2003.
Bloomberg has previously stated his intention on using the money to improve the schools, build housing and shore up the city’s huge budget deficit. "It’s just not practical this year to go and build new stadiums," announced Bloomberg.
Bloomberg’s comments towards the stadium deals are his first public stance against the project. Bloomberg did say that he would not remove provisions that the city pays $5 million to each team for planning costs. He will honor that part of the agreement made by Giuliani.
In the case of the Yankees, new Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion has already stated his distaste for the agreement. In his inaugural speech, Carrion stated that the city "….can’t afford it. There is need far more urgent. New Yorkers need schools and not stadiums…."
After Bloomberg’s comments, Carrion said in a statement that he was pleased that the Mayor heard his message and the stadium would not be a major priority.
Queens Borough president Helen Marshall displayed her displeasure and echoed Carrion’s statements on the school system, "Here in Queens, we have children going to school in hallways, using clipboards for desks," said Marshall.
The Yankees expressed guarded optimism that the deal would not be discarded. Randy Levine, Yankees president, said that there are still a lot of things to prepare for and "We look forward to working with Mayor Bloomberg in the planning process and reaching definitive agreements when all sides think it’s appropriate."
The Mets have also expressed their willingness to work with Mayor Bloomberg in the stadium planning. Mets Vice-President David Howard said " We will await further direction from the mayor and will be ready to resume discussions when he deems it appropriate."
Bloomberg also stated that if the economy improved this year, the projects could start up again as early as 2003.