As Matthew Schuerman noted earlier, the Yankee stadium plan easily passed the City Council subcommittee (3-0) and committee (22-1) this morning.
But the meeting was not without its moments, and tensions, as a crowd of partisans for and against the stadium packed the small chamber. The opposition held up green and orange signs and passed out fake dollar bills with Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo’s face on them. (“How much was the “deal” with the Yankees to hand over our public parks?” they said.) The construction workers who support the deal but couldn’t find seats in the small chamber spilled out into the adjacent one. There, speakers piped in the meeting and their muted cheers could be heard with each yes vote.
The morning’s lone nay vote came from Charles Barron, who argued that the Metro North station used to sweeten the deal is just for white fans who “want a straight path to Yankee stadium and out.” He then accused the Yanks, and especially George Steinbrenner, of being a bad corporate partner to the community for the last 83 years.
Staten Island’s Jimmy Oddo pointed out that the “robust” Mr. Steinbrenner was not quite that old, and added “I wouldn’t want to throw down with him.”
Barron and Oddo got laughs, Arroyo only heard heckles. After saying that she resented how her integrity had been “called into question,” the Bronx councilwoman said that she intended to stick around “past 09 – and I also intend to hold the Yankees accountable.”
That caused snickering in the crowd.
“The Yankees are not the only ones who can swing bats,” she said.