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SI Yankees, NYC spar over rent, comps

Staten Island YankeesThe Staten Island Yankees (short season A; NY-Penn League) and New York City are disagreeing over the team’s rent, which is partially based on ticket sales, as the city wants to count comps as part of the total attendance figures.

The issue: whether 1,756 tickets designated by the SI Yankees as comps should be included in the paid attendance figure for 2010. If it is, the team would have drawn more than 125,000 fans, which is a threshold for a 50-cent surcharge from the Economic Development Corp. (EDC). The EDC is maintaining that the comps are not all comps and go to paying customers, such as suiteholders.

The SI Yankees say the comps should not be considered paid attendance because, well, they’re comps; these are the freebies given away to players, coaches and front-office personnel. All paid tickets, says SI Yankees president Joe Ricciutti, are part of the official paid attendance figure of 123,572.

So the matter is headed for arbitration, per the team’s lease for Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George.

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