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New York's Second MLS Team May Have Its Stadium

New York appears close to an agreement with incoming MLS team NYCFC to build a 28,000-seat, $400 million stadium in the Bronx.

NYCFC begins play in 2015, and will play in Yankee Stadium until a stadium is built. (The club is partially owned by the Yankees, but the majority owner is Manchester City owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan.) Details of the stadium plan have been obtained by Capital New York. It wold be located just south of Yankee Stadium, on the site of three parking garages, an elevator parts warehouse, and city-owned streets—not, as the seemingly pro-stadium Post puts it, "an empty lot."


So what's this going to cost taxpayers? If you know anything about stadium financing in this country, you won't be shocked to find out that the answer is "a lot." The funding is complicated enough for the team to claim it's paying for the stadium, but over at Field of Schemes, Neil deMause puts the lie to that.

Capital New York says the city wouldn't lay out any cash, but this would still be a significant non-cash gift. If the city takes over the site, that presumably means it wouldn't pay property taxes; a similar exemption for the earlier proposed NYCFC soccer stadium site in Queens was estimated to be worth about $100 million. Add in $21.5 million in other tax breaks (probably exemption from construction sales tax and the like) and 38 years of free rent, and you could easily be talking about $150-200 million in city subsidies.

And that's even before we take into account the tax-exempt bonds to finance the stadium. DeMause says that could be another $80 million in lost tax revenue, and since that'll largely be on the federal level, NYCFC wants to thank every single American for helping to build it a stadium in New York.

The plan has been agreed to by mayor Michael Bloomberg, but it's not finalized—incoming mayor Bill de Blasio will still need to sign off on it.

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