Today marks a sad milestone, one for which I'm sure Yankee fan Amato is wearing black (with pinstripes, natch) in mourning. Today is the final game at the famed Yankee Stadium, the House that Ruth Built. And in this transition from tradition over generations (even I speak in awe of my first trip to see a game at Yankee Stadium) to a taxpayer-funded corporate behemoth, Bill Moyers finds parallels to our current financial crisis.
But when it came to paying for the new, $1.3 billion pleasure dome, the millionaires on the field and King Midas in his skybox came up with some razzle-dazzle plays to finance their new wealth machine - tax-free bonds, requiring ordinary citizens to subsidize the construction, and hundreds of millions more for new parking garages, a train station and parks that supposedly will replace the ones seized by the city to make room for the new stadium. The Little League games that used to flourish on sandlots just outside the old ballpark have been moved miles away, sent down to the minors on a long road trip.[..]
Meanwhile there will be more luxury suites and party rooms where fat cats can gather, safely removed from the sweaty masses. Corporations and wealthy individuals will be able to rent the luxury suites for anywhere from $600,000-$850,000 a year - tax deductible - assuming they haven't filed for bankruptcy this week.
Why aren't the fans and taxpayers giving the Yankees a Bronx cheer? They did, but city officials rolled over them while making sure local politicians stay in the lineup. The pols are getting their own luxury suite at the new stadium for free - and first shot at buying the best available seats.