Yankee Stadium Parking Default A Painful Lesson When Sweetheart Deals Go Bad


Back in 2008 members of Congress  slammed the tax funded Yankee Stadium deal as fraudulent tainted by gross misrepresentation of data including but not limited to parking lot attendance records.

Now, after the Yankee Stadium parking garage has defaulted on its bond payments this past April, the IRS is taking matters into its own hands by opening up an investigation into the details of the $237.6 million default – one of the largest defaults in New York City history in decades.

Related: Yankee Stadium’s conduit-bond boondoggle. Reuters – June 16, 2011.

With such fiascos led by the NYCIDA (New York City Industrial Development Agency) we must ask ourselves why would our borough’s leadership accept another sweetheart deal, this time FreshDirect, by the IDA that would once again create a mess in the Bronx?

In 2011, Juan González of the Daily News said,

“No one should forget that this boondoggle came about because the Yankees – who have no involvement in the garages – put a gun to the city’s head. They demanded a 9,000-space parking system from the city and the state as part of agreeing to build a new stadium.

Now, those garages have become a financial swamp for taxpayers.

And right next door, Yankee Stadium raked in $396 million in its first year of operation in 2009 – just from the sale of tickets and luxury suites.

That’s more than double the old stadium’s revenues in 2007. And it’s $140 million more than the Yankees projected.

Yankees Win! City Loses! Again.

FreshDirect put the proverbial gun to the city’s head when they claimed they were going to move to New Jersey – a plan that clearly was not going to happen because of simply the added cost of bridge crossings and extra fuel it would take to deliver to their base in New York City, Westchester and Connecticut.

But back to the Yankees.

Instead of the multitude of empty parking spaces, we could have gotten a world class park for that kind of money or anything that would actually benefit the community and not burden it.

Crime having dropped dramatically in the Bronx as well as a reputation that our borough is going through a rebirth has shown that Yankee fans are no longer afraid to walk the streets of the South Bronx and are coming in record numbers via mass transit.

Let’s not forget that as part of the deal, the Yankees got a Metro North station at 153rd St opening up the stadium to thousands of fans by rail. Combined with 3 subway lines and express buses, the need for so many parking lots was irresponsible and disrespectful to the neighborhood that the Yankees share with the community.

Check out the following Via Reuters:


UPDATE 1-IRS investigates Yankee Stadium parking garage bonds
Wed, Jul 17 14:45 PM EDT

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is investigating $237.6 million of tax-exempt bonds that were used by New York’s Yankee Stadium to finance the building of parking garages, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

The Bronx Parking Development Company, which runs the car parks, defaulted on a $6.9 million payment on April 1. The last payment to bondholders was made in October 2012.

As fans use public transportation to avoid parking fees ranging from $25 to $48 per game, the use of the 9,300 parking spaces has been well below expectation. Fewer than half of the parking spots were used in April, according to a filing.

New York City’s comptroller blasted the project in an audit last year that found “revenues were based on questionable occupancy rates and inflated attendance figures and did not account for demand fluctuations that would result from price increases and competition.”

The IRS review is “to determine compliance with the Federal tax requirements,” the filing said. The Civic Facility Revenue Bonds were issued by New York’s Industrial Development Agency in 2007 on behalf of the Bronx Parking Development Company.

Bonds maturing in 2037 last traded at 44.19 cents on the dollar on July 2, according to Municipal Market Data, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

The IRS declined to comment. “Federal law prohibits the IRS from discussing specific tax payers or situations,” an IRS spokesman said.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.