Despite being frequently used for private events, which earn private profits, Times Square’s public plazas are generating little revenue for the city.
In response, the local community board is trying to get its fair share by asking the city Department of Transportation to restrict events in Times Square and charge higher rates.
The move comes as the NFL prepares to launch an outdoor theme park in Times Square leading up to the Super Bowl, according to the New York Post.
“We want to make sure that the city gets a good deal when it rents out these spaces,” Raju Mann, a member of Community Board 5, told the Post. “Right now, they can’t technically make money, which is crazy from our perspective.”
Currently the city charges fees ranging from several thousand dollars to upward of $20,000, in order to reimburse police and other agencies for crowd control and permit processing. The public plazas’ manager, the Times Square Alliance, also receives fees ranging from $950 to $28,000. However, the city isn’t even covering maintenance costs and regularly goes over budget.
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the alliance reported revenues of $17.42 million, while receiving $74,000 in government grants. [NYP] –Christopher Cameron