You may have read over the weekend about the back and forth between the Yankees and Mayor Bloomberg’s office over luxury suites:
The Bloomberg administration was so intent on obtaining a free luxury suite for its own use at the new Yankee Stadium, newly released e-mail messages show, that the mayor’s aides pushed for a larger suite and free food, and eventually gave the Yankees 250 additional parking spaces in exchange.
The parking spaces were given to the team for the private use of Yankees officials, players and others; the spaces were originally planned for public parking. The city also turned over the rights to three new billboards along the Major Deegan Expressway, and whatever revenue they generate, as part of the deal.
The e-mail messages between the aides to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Yankees executives were obtained and released by Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, Democrat of Westchester, who questions whether taxpayers were adequately protected in the city’s deal with the team.
You know, the real scandal here isn’t about what New York City gave in terms of billboards or parking spaces in exchange for a luxury box. The real scandal is that the city could deliver hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to the wealthiest team in professional sports yet it still had to offer more goodies in order to get the box in the first place.
Even the worst extortionists will pick up their victim’s beer tab once in a while.