The parking garages at Yankee Stadium are a financial black hole

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Back when New Yankee Stadium was built, the team demanded that the city build parking garages to house 9,000 cars. Never mind that the ballpark is right next to a train station.

But the city agreed, issuing tax-exempt bonds to cover the costs plus subsidizing the garages to the tune of $100 million on top of that.  Now those bonds are likely going into default, reports the New York Daily News:

Bronx Parking Development LLC failed to make a $6.9 million payment due April 1 on more than $237 million in tax-exempt bonds arranged by the Bloomberg administration back in 2007.

The group, which is not connected to the Yankees, thus fell into one of the biggest defaults of a New York City-sponsored bond in decades.

Sounds like this will lead to a city bailout or a bankruptcy, leaving the bondholders and/or taxpayers holding the bag.

Just another fabulous example of what happens when the government does favors for sports teams and all common sense is thrown out the window. And when the recipients of those funds try to gouge the hell out of customers, charging them some $35 to park, which rendered the garages half empty most of the time.

How hard is it to tell a billion dollar business like the Yankees to build their own parking garages if they want them so bad?

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.