FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, GOVERNOR PATAKI AND NEW YORK YANKEES BREAK GROUND ON NEW $800 MILLION STADIUM
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, Yankees Principal Owner George Steinbrenner and Yankees President Randy Levine today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Yankee Stadium. The new Yankee Stadium will be developed just north of the existing facility at Macombs Dam Park and a portion of John Mullaly Park, and will be completed in time for the opening of the 2009 baseball season. Funding for the $800 million in construction costs is being provided fully by the Yankees, who will also be responsible for operating and maintaining the new facility. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff and Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) Chair Charles Gargano, attended the ceremony in the Bronx.
"The decision of the New York Yankees to rebuild their home in the South Bronx is a vote of confidence for a neighborhood that is undergoing an incredible renaissance," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The new Yankee Stadium is an exciting public-private partnership that will revitalize the South Bronx with thousands of jobs and more than 24 acres of newly created and renovated parkland. Along with the $500 million construction of the Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market, the new Yankee Stadium is part of a major economic redevelopment plan that residents of the South Bronx will benefit from for generations to come."
"Yankee Stadium is not only the home of the greatest professional sports team in history, in the greatest city in the world, it is nothing less than an American icon - a symbol of the relentless pursuit of excellence that is at the heart of our nation's character," said Governor Pataki. "The spectacular new ballpark is truly worthy of this great City, our great team and its great fans. As one of those fans for my entire life I am proud to say that with this glorious new stadium design, the Yankees have not only stepped up to the plate, they've hit a grand slam. We building a great new attraction in the Bronx and creating thousands of jobs, developing acres of new parkland and building a new multimodal transportation station that will improve the air quality and the overall environment for the area. Everyone knows the New York Yankees are winners, but today's winners are the people of New York and of the Bronx."
Developed by Tishman Speyer Properties and designed by HOK Sport + Venue + Event, the new stadium, which will have a capacity of about 54,000, will offer improved sightlines and feature state-of-the art facilities for players and fans. This first-class sports complex will also include retail space, corporate business and function space, and facilities for the media. It will also incorporate aesthetic design elements, such as the traditional frieze, from the original 1923 stadium.
"We developed the new stadium with the needs of the Yankees and the fans in mind," said Yankees Principal Owner George Steinbrenner. "This new 'Home of Champions' will preserve the architectural integrity of the original Yankee Stadium, while incorporating modern amenities."
"The design of the new stadium allows us to incorporate restaurants, a special events hall, first-class concourses, and an increased number of luxury suites - while still managing to keep ticket prices affordable," said Yankees President Randy Levine.
At the new Yankee Stadium, the team will be responsible for all maintenance costs. The City, as owner of the current facility, has spent $30 million in capital funds over the past five years on the stadium's maintenance and upkeep and was expecting to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more over the next 30 years. Under the agreement with the City, the Yankees will lease the site for the new stadium for an initial term of 40 years and will be responsible for paying the entire cost of construction including any cost overruns. The City is contributing $160 million to replace parkland and make necessary infrastructure improvements, and the State is contributing $70 million for the construction of new parking facilities and $4.7 million to a capital reserve fund for the new stadium. The City's appropriation will be required to go through the normal budget processes, as was the State's. The Yankees will be responsible for any capital replacement costs in excess of this amount over the next 30 years. In addition, last month the New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) approved the issuance of about $920 million in tax-exempt bonds and $25 million in taxable bonds, both to be repaid by the Yankees. The proceeds of the bond sale will be used to build the stadium.
The new stadium is a component of the City's commitment to create new recreation facilities and infrastructure improvements in the South Bronx. The City will create 24.5 acres of parks and playing fields, including more than 16 acres of newly created parkland along the Harlem River waterfront and at the current Stadium site. The City will create parks and walkways that will be open to the public 365 days a year. As part of the agreement, the City will extend the Yankees' current leases at the old stadium through December 31, 2008, and allow the Yankees to continue to apply a $5 million credit against its annual rent for 2006, 2007 and 2008. The project is expected to create nearly 6,500 construction jobs and result in about 1,000 permanent jobs.
"The new Yankee Stadium will be a terrific asset for all of New York City, but, more than ever before, it will be an asset of the Bronx," said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. "The project brings with it thousands of jobs, more than $1 billion in public and private investment, new parkland, access to the waterfront and the creation of a vibrant destination to coincide with the revitalization underway throughout the entire South Bronx."
"This new stadium represents a new future for the South Bronx," said Speaker Quinn. "The Yankees have proven to be commendable partners during this process. By working together with both the Yankees and the community, we've developed a plan that will create new parks, reduce traffic and noise, and produce a significant investment in South Bronx. The new Yankee Stadium is a home run - for New Yorkers, for the Bronx and for fans worldwide."
"This is a great day for the Bronx and a great day for the entire city," said Borough President Carrión. "I have always stressed that the redevelopment plan had to include the needs of the community, specifically the long overdue restoration of parks, a new Metro North Station and a revitalized commercial district that will provide our residents with jobs and economic opportunities. We have succeeded in crafting a historic plan that addresses these needs. This is not just about building a stadium; it is about building a stronger Bronx and a stronger City."
"The new stadium will have enormous positive impact on the community," said ESDC Chairman Charles A. Gargano. "Additionally, fiscal benefits from stadium operations and visitor spending are estimated to be over $118 million for the State, with the construction fiscal benefit estimated at more than $55 million. This new stadium is an important part of Governor Pataki's vision, and working with City and Borough leadership, he has worked very hard to revitalize the Bronx, which is a very different place than it was twelve years ago."
"The new Yankee Stadium will also usher in new parks for the community," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Parks plans to invest $160 million to plant thousands of new trees and create new state-of-the-art parks, waterfront access, and sports facilities for track and field, baseball, softball, football, soccer, tennis, basketball and handball, which will offer enhanced recreational opportunities for Bronx residents. This public-private partnership is a tremendous opportunity for Bronx Parks and we look forward to moving ahead on the project."
The Yankees recently signed a Community Benefits Agreement, designed to provide Bronx-based and minority- and women-owned businesses the greatest possible job growth opportunities. The team has committed to signing at least 25% of construction contracts associated with the building of the stadium with qualified Bronx-based businesses, half of which will be minority- or women-owned, and at least 25% of the total jobs will go to Bronx residents. The Yankees have committed $1 million to a job training program for Bronx residents, and the team will hire a program administrator to help provide outreach to local, minority and women workers and businesses including technical and financial assistance and mentoring. In addition, every year the Yankees will donate $100,000 worth of equipment and promotional merchandise and 15,000 home game tickets to Bronx not-for-profit organizations, schools and youth and sports groups.
Stu Loeser / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks)
Howard Rubenstein (Rubenstein) (212) 843-8080
Rick Cerrone (Yankees) (718) 579-4460