Yankees' Foe Belongs in “Grandstanding Hall of Fame”

War over Yankee Stadium deal gets snippy

Oooohhhhh SNAP!

The Yankees and the Bloomberg Administration decided to fight fire with napalm Wednesday at a hearing on the Yankee Stadium deal.

Yankees' president Randy Levine and the city's economic development chief Seth Pinsky seemed to be channeling their inner Blair Waldorf in blasting Assemblyman Richard Brodsky with "Gossip Girl"-worthy slams.

"Was that irony?" Brodsky asked after one particularly snarky Pinsky statement.

"Call it whatever you like," Pinsky snapped.

"You belong in the Grandstanding Hall of Fame!" Levine bellowed at Brodsky, failing to note how one might get nominated or where one might find the august institution.

(The awards show for that would be pretty frightening.)

The substance of this was a bit hard to get at under all the "drama." Brodsky subpoenaed both witnesses after they said they couldn't show up this week.

The problem was that a vote at the city Industrial Development Authority is set for Friday where the Yankees are expected to get another $430 million in tax-exempt bonds in order to finish the stadium (due to open in April).

Brodsky -- who's been hammering away for months on the Yankees deal in which roughly $1.3 billion in tax-exempt bonds will be used to build the stadium -- wanted to get one more crack at the city and the team.

Brodsky has long charged the Yankees got a sweetheart deal because they will use what would have been property tax payments to the city to instead pay back the bonds. Something like you paying your mortgage with the money you would have paid for your property taxes -- and being allowed to get away with it.

Bloomberg and the Yankees have countered that the team doesn't pay taxes on the current stadium (because its owned by the city) and wouldn't in the future if the stadium had been privately financed (because it is built on city parkland which is, of course, no taxed).

On Tuesday, New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson piled on claiming that the original estimates for direct taxpayer cost (for new parks, a new train station, road improvements, etc) have turned out to be way too low.

A day later, he said the difference seems to great to be "simply an accounting error."

Of course he's running for Mayor against Bloomberg so the Administration has dismissed his complaint as politics.

Meanwhile I will nominate the Brodsky-Pinsky-Levine troika for the "Snippy Award" for most childish dialog by three alleged adults.

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