The Bloomberg Administration was so eager for a Yankee luxury box it traded away 250 parking spots and three billboards.
A perk of financing a new ballpark for city officials is the long-term use of a luxury box. It’s a given.
But what happens when the city doesn’t actually fund the new ballpark? In the case of the New York Yankees and the Bloomberg administration, the city is reduced to some old-fashioned horse trading and not-so-subtle threats to land a suite for the regular season and all playoff games.
In emails between aides to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Yankees executives obtained and released to The New York Times by Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, the negotiations are laid out in great detail. The specifics of the suite were never laid out in agreements between the team and the city, so they were subject to additional negotiations. Because the Yankees are funding the ballpark on their own — albeit with the use of tax-exempt bonds floated by the city — New York officials had no direct leverage.
So they were reduced to making trades. The first was the use of 250 parking spots next to the ballpark; the second came in the form of three billboards adjoining the ballpark site. The team will use the parking spots for the front office and will lease the billboards for $750,000 or so annually.