The Yankees improperly deducted more than $11million from their annual rent bill for Yankee Stadium over a four-year period, city Controller William Thompson has found.
Thompson, who will make a formal announcement about the Yankee bill today, said the team has agreed to pay it all back - with interest.
The richest franchise in baseball overstated expenses by more than $24 million from 2003 to 2006, which allowed it to underpay its rent bill on the city-owned stadium, Thompson's year-long audit found.
The team also wrongly deducted from that rent nearly $10 million in planning costs for the new Yankee Stadium, the audit says.
Ever since 2001, the city has let the team deduct up to $5 million a year from its annual rent to pay for planning costs for the new stadium, which is scheduled to open in April.
Thompson said team executives took more than $9 million in planning cost deductions in 2006, even though they had already claimed those same deductions in previous years.
They also deducted nearly $1 million from rent in 2005 for new stadium planning costs that Thompson found "inappropriate."
Yankees took $11 million in improper rent deductions
Jim Dwyer gives the mayor a penful:
The full reckoning on Mr. Bloomberg’s judgment about these major investments of public funds will most likely not come for a few years, long after he has run for a third term as mayor by arguing that he has been the wisest and steadiest of stewards — just the man for the city during hard financial times.
For Yankees, Mayors Play Ball at City’s Expense