Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Built Tough

It's fairly common in New York to feel that the city's other baseball team, the Mets, don't get enough respect. There's the trashy Long Island fan base, the relative lack of visibility in Manhattan, the pitiful number of pennants.

But I'd just like to have on record how much better they've handled the whole new stadium thing than the Yankees.

Firstly, they persuaded Citibank to help underwrite the cost of the new stadium. It might be mean, it might be corporate, and it might get rid of the name forever associated with getting the Beatles out of the live music game. But it brought in money, and the owners of the Mets, the Wilpons might even spend some of that on player salaries.

Secondly, they built the new stadium in their own parking lot. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of freebie infrastructure improvements and tax subsidies thrown in. But the Mets didn't pave over anyone's park, or knock down anyone's bar, like that meanie Ratner wants to do. I will note, though, that the new stadium seems to be the spur for a rash of rather dubious eminent domain action.

Thirdly, they financed the stadium with plain vanilla fixed-rate bonds. Given the crazy things that have happened to the financial products the other stadium builders have used (the Giants, the Yankees), the Mets financing stood up pretty well.

Fourthly, they've managed the construction of the stadium much better. Probably because the Wilpons are real estate developers by trade.

And I can't help but suspect that were they to have encountered the same preposterous buried shirt palaver that the Yankees just dealt with they wouldn't have spent $30,000 digging it up and admitting how scared they were of a construction worker's prank. These are people who traded a perfectly serviceable pitcher because they thought his wife was crazy. They're not scared of arsey bricklayers.

Anyhoo, the Yankees suck, and not just because they're owned by a decrepit shipbuilding magnate.


At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn straight. That trashy LI fanbase includes all of the island (i.e. Queens and Brooklyn) The yankees might as well be playing for Vegas or Disney since their entire fanbase either lives in Europe or rents 3 months out of the year.


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