City: Costs (and Benefits) of Yankees, Mets Stadiums Increase

The city has released a cost/benefit analysis of the new Yankees and Mets stadiums, as the city plans to issue a fresh set of tax-free bonds for the projects.

For the Yankees project, costs directly to the city are up substantially since the last analysis in 2006 (from $34.3 million to $209.5 million, excluding new parkland that has also risen in cost); though, somewhat curiously, so too are benefits (from $173.1 million to $438.3 million). The Mets figures showed less of a disparity, as costs were up from $91.4 million to $128.8 million, while benefits went up from $139.3 million to $199 million.

The new numbers are in 2009 dollars, while the prior figures were in 2006 dollars.

The increased costs come as construction costs have jumped substantially since 2006, and the scope, at least for Yankee Stadium, has increased some.

The increase in benefits, the city said in its analysis of the new Yankee Stadium, comes as the city is now counting “several project elements that were not known about in sufficient detail to be included in the 2006 analysis,” including parking garages and a new Metro North station. Increased spending on construction would also boost city tax revenues.

The city also announced an olive branch to critics of its luxury box deal with the Yankees, saying that so long as Mike Bloomberg is mayor, the city will not use the boxes, instead taking at least $100,000 in payments from the Yankees. A similar deal is being worked out with the Mets, the city said.

David Lombino, spokesman for the city’s Industrial Development Agency, issued this statement: "The Yankee Stadium and Citi Field projects are a net benefit of nearly $130 million to the City, creating thousands of jobs, and generating more spending and increased tax revenues. These projects represent prototype infrastructure investments, spurring large private investments in New York City neighborhoods that have been underserved."