Revenue Sharing, The Yankees and Hypocrisy

Those damn Yankees! Recently, the Yankees president Randy Levine made comments complaining about the revenue-sharing agreement used in Major League Baseball (MLB) which forces higher-revenue teams to pay lower-revenue teams millions of dollars to help balance the wealth around the league.

“What is very burdensome to us, and is unfair, is the amount of money we have to pay in revenue sharing compared,  for example, to teams in our market that pay 10 times less than us,” Levine said (Fox Sports).

As mentioned in the excellent New York Times article on this subject, Levine is referencing to the New York Mets, who pay much less than the Yankees, but are in the same city as them. However, the Yankees shouldn’t be complaining at all. To fund the new Yankee Stadium built in 2009, it cost the taxpayers of New York $1 billion dollars in subsidies (the Mets got $500 million for their new stadium also built in 2009). Levine denied that there were any subsidies. He was quite wrong/plain out lying. From the NYT article:

“According to the city’s Independent Budget Office, the stadium received about $270 million in federal tax-exempt financing. There was an additional $58 million for the paring garages, which the Yankees don’t own but from which they benefit.”

The Yankees also received a $40 million sales tax exemption for the construction of the stadium. Let’s not forget that they built the new stadium on top of an old park, and someone had to pay for a new one (hint: the payers of tax). A train station was added to the area and with the park, it cost in total a supposed $380 million dollars according to Michael Powell, the writer of the NYT article. On top of all THAT, the Yankees saved $400 million in property-tax exemption and tax-exempt bonds. Wait, the Yankees were complaining?

I hope you see the hypocrisy now, because instead of rewarding the citizens on New York with nice low ticket prices in return for paying so many taxes to cover the Yankees, they have the ticket prices at the second-highest in baseball. Those damn Yankees…

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