As if we needed reminding how many potential obstacles stand in the way of Major League Soccer stadiums, here’s one more.
In considering a proposal to build New York City FC’s stadium on a site adjacent to Yankee Stadium, I suppose we’ll put this New York Daily News editorial in the “Heck No!” camp.
Specifically, the adjacent site is now the home of underused parking garages near Yankee Stadium, which would be converted into space for New York City FC’s facility.
This thing quickly gets sticky and all twisted up in bad history and politics in about 50 different ways. There’s the general concern of tax money (directly or indirectly) going to assist some incredibly wealthy people. (The Yankees and Manchester City owners, that is, none of whom are worried about keeping the lights on around the house.)
There’s resentment over loss of parkland in creating the parking garages in the first place. Plus, it’s resentment that burns even hotter considering that these subsidized Yankee Stadium parking spaces have mostly sat empty. There are political reputations in play at various levels, starting with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and migrating further up the food chain with recently elected New York mayor Bill de Blasio.
His promises along the mayoral campaign trail were to cut millions in city-backed tax breaks, not create new ones.
It seems that Jason Kreis and his new team will play at Yankee Stadium to begin with, which looks, sounds and feels like a terrible idea. (See the last paragraph of this entry from July.) But it also looks like more or less the only idea on the table for the team’s 2015 launch, at least until some of these political knots begin to untangle themselves.