Hey, folks! Guess what our billionaire mayor is doing now? Apparently, handing over our parkland to American billionaire developers isn't enough, so now he's giving it away to foreign billionaire developers. Check this out from the NY Times:
Now a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi is poised to become the latest foreign owner of a New York-area professional sports franchise.
Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, whose private investment group owns Manchester City in England’s Premier League, has entered final negotiations to purchase a franchise of Major League Soccer to be situated in Queens, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations.
After months of public hearings, applications and discussions, a deal for a privately financed $340 million stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which would hold 25,000 spectators and could be expanded to 35,000, could be completed in several weeks, according to several people with knowledge of the deal.
Neither Don Garber, the commissioner of M.L.S., nor Sheik Mansour could be reached for comment Sunday. Last week, Garber told reporters he hoped to make an announcement about the expansion team in New York in four to six weeks. In addition, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told reporters last week, “Hopefully, we’re getting close to announcing a new soccer stadium here in Flushing Meadow [sic] Park.”
Buying a soccer club allows the establishment of business and political connections and provides good public relations in enhancing Abu Dhabi’s global business empire, said Stefan Szymanski, a professor of sports management at the University of Michigan and a co-author of the book “Soccernomics.”
Several experts said they would not expect much political blowback from an Abu Dhabi ownership in New York.
“These people have a huge interest in political stability,” Szymanski said. “Jihad would be the furthest thing from these people’s minds.”
Well thank goodness for small favors! Since the guy is so rich that the league has to cap his team spending, why doesn't he buy up private land somewhere to build a stadium for his team? Why is priceless public parkland even being considered? Why will every Queens elected official, save for one, welcome this as a good investment instead of denounce it as unnecessary corporate welfare?