Thursday, February 19, 2009

City strikes out on stadium

To The Editor:
Re “Paying for Yankee Stadium is a major league error” (talking point, by Deborah Glick, Jan. 28: The Villager):
Thanks to Deborah Glick for laying out the sheer hubris of luxury construction, of any kind, in our troubled city. The market for luxury projects is dwindling — rapidly. Whatever arguments were made for that strategy no longer apply. And they never did long range.
The foolishness of destroying Yankee Stadium is breathtaking. Taxpayers are subsidizing its reconstruction, parking garages, new train station and parks — in the last case, to replace those seized and moved far from their Little League users.
And in return? Five thousand fewer seats, most of these beyond fans’ ability to pay. As Bill Moyers puts it:
“…[T]here will be more luxury suites and party rooms… . Corporations and wealthy individuals will…rent the luxury suites for…$600,000 to $850,000 tax-deductible dollars a year, assuming they haven’t filed for bankruptcy... .
“…[B]id farewell to dear old Yankee Stadium, and await the new colossus… . It will cast its…shadow across one of the country’s poorest neighborhoods, whose residents will watch from the outside as suburban drivers avail themselves of…new…parking spaces. Never mind…the exhaust, even though in this part of town respiratory disease is already so high they call it ‘asthma alley.’ ”
Environmental damage, destruction of a historic stadium, loss of community space, less affordable entertainment and outrageous cost at a time when we desperately need ideas and projects that create a real future for our city.