Derek Jeter may be feeling a little sore after some tough contract negotiations with the Yankees, but he’s got nothing on New York City’s taxpayers. Even after parking prices rise significantly next year, taxpayers will likely continue to help bail out the financially struggling Bronx Parking Development Corporation, which operates parking at the new Yankee Stadium. The parking operator is already in financial trouble in its first year, unable even to capitalize on the 2009 Yankees’ World Series win and the 2010 Yankee playoff games.
According to the stadium facilities’ 2011 operating budget, parking is expected to bring in less revenue than overall operating expenses, creating a budget hole of $190,888. This is despite the fact that next year’s parking rates will jump by $12 for self-parkers (from $23 to $35) and $10 for valet ($35 to $45).
The financing of the new stadium parking included $237 million in tax-free bonds and $100 million in city and state aid. Still a subsidy darling, Bronx Parking Development has been given a deferment from NYC of its rent payments for the rest of the year. That’s because the corporation was barely able to pay its October 2010 bond payment and is expected to lack the funds to make its next $6.8 million payment in April 2011. If it defaults on its payments, NYC will have to seize the property given that the lot is on city-owned land.
Back when the new stadium was being discussed, Tri-State and groups such as Good Jobs New York opposed the bond sale because of the public subsidies, because garages would be built on desperately needed park land, and because the new stadium would be built with 3,600 more parking spaces than the old, despite the addition of a new Metro-North rail station.
Supporters of the increased parking argued that it would create more revenue for the city and additional jobs — about 20 full-time and 70 part-time positions, to be exact. Investing in better Bronx transit could have supported far more than 90 jobs, and spared the city the embarrassment of being way out of the ballpark on its projections.