A congressional panel has taken tough swings at the New York Yankees and New York City government over a new stadium for the Yankees. But neither the team nor the city budged from their positions on the $1.3 billion structure.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich said Thursday he found ``waste and abuse of public dollars'' in the financing of the new stadium under construction in the South Bronx.
Kucinich is an Ohio Democrat who heads a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. He charged that city officials misrepresented to the IRS the value of the property, helping them to get special tax deals from the federal government and in effect dumping the cost of construction onto taxpayers. No one from the either the city or the Yankees spoke at the hearing.
Yankee Stadium Deal Criticized by Lawmakers
``In the case of the new Yankee Stadium, not only have we found waste and abuse of public dollars subsidizing a project that is for the exclusive benefit of a private entity, the Yankees, but also we have discovered serious questions about the accuracy of certain representations made by the City of New York to the federal government,'' Kucinich said.
The panel's investigation found ``substantial evidence of improprieties and possible fraud by the financial architects of the new Yankee Stadium,'' he added.
Rep. Laura Watson, D-Calif., said her hometown of Los Angeles has gone without a professional football team for decades because city officials are unwilling to pay for a new stadium.
Given the current financial crisis gripping the U.S. economy, she said it made no sense for taxpayers to pay for construction of buildings for the benefit of sports owner tycoons.