FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF NEW METS AND YANKEE STADIUM PLANS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, April 9, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Springtime in New York - parks are blooming, sidewalks are teeming with life, the mercury inches higher every day, and baseball is back again.
"Opening Day is always filled with new hopes and dreams as our beloved Mets and Yanks take the field for the first time and every fan truly believes a Subway Series is within reach - I know I do. But this year, there's even more optimism in the air as both teams have made major strides towards opening new homes in 2009. And that would be an incredible doubleheader for New York, and for baseball fans everywhere.
"Let's start with those Amazin' Mets. Last week, the team unveiled its plans for a brand-new facility which they will build in a parking lot just east of Shea Stadium. The new stadium's design will merge the intimate feel of classic ballparks like Ebbets Field with the comfort and amenities of today's modern sports arenas, making it a great place for players to play and for fans to enjoy the game.
"It will also be a great deal for the City. Building the stadium means more than 6,000 new construction jobs and tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenue. While the City and State will contribute towards the project's infrastructure, the Mets will pay for the stadium's entire construction.
"The future for the Bronx Bombers looks equally exciting. Their hopes for a new stadium cleared a major hurdle last week when the City Council approved plans for the project. While it will be hard for us to say goodbye to the 'House that Ruth Built,' the benefits of the Yankees' new home are going to be incredible - stunning architecture; perfect sightlines; and much more parking. As part of the project, the City also will create more than 24 acres of parks and playing fields, much of that along the Harlem River waterfront and at the current Stadium site.
"With both new projects, the teams will be responsible for meeting the ongoing costs of maintenance - which the City, as the owner of both existing stadiums, currently covers. That's going to save us of hundreds of millions of dollars over the coming years.
"Furthermore, the new stadiums will help drive some of our most important neighborhood redevelopment projects. In the South Bronx, the new Yankee Stadium, along with the new parks and reconstruction of the Bronx Terminal Market, will revitalize the area for generations to come. The Mets new ballpark will go hand in hand with a $500 million project to revitalize downtown Flushing, and our plan to transform the junkyards and auto body shops in nearby Willets Point into a community jewel - full of parks, housing, and shops.
"These projects are going to help our economy continue growing - unemployment is now at a 5-year low, and this week we announced that the welfare rolls have fallen to their lowest level since 1964, because of our successful efforts to move people from welfare to work.
"You know, there was a time when people said that you couldn't pull off these kinds of big projects in New York anymore. But in one week, we proved that we could - twice. And we made sure that two of the nation's most storied ball clubs are staying right in the neighborhoods where they've always belonged.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958