De Blasio’s concerns jeopardize Bronx soccer stadium plans

Man City owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and New York City Football Club logo
Man City owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and New York City Football Club logo

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio reviewed the Mayor Bloomberg-supported plan to build a nearly $400 million soccer stadium in the Bronx for the first time yesterday – and was not quick to endorse it.

“We have real concerns about investing scarce public resources and forgoing revenue to support the creation of an arena for a team co-owned by one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, and will review any plan with that in mind,” a de Blasio spokesperson said.

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De Blasio’s hangups include tax exemptions, public financing and leasing or selling public land, the New York Times reported. Indeed, he promised during his mayoral campaign to cut up to $3 million in city-backed tax breaks.

Bloomberg, meanwhile, was hoping to get the project approved before his term expires later this month. The Industrial Development Agency, a quasi-governmental department that provides companies with tax breaks, needs to sign off on any public financing for the stadium — and de Blasio could stack the city agency with individuals sympathetic to his point of view.

A new Major League Soccer team known as the New York City Football Club has its eye on the proposed 28,000-seat facility, which would sit on a vacant lot just south of Yankee Stadium at 153rd Street and the Major Deegan Expressway. But the team — jointly owned by the New York Yankees and the Manchester City Football Club of England, led by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan — would have to pay GAL Manufacturing, an elevator components maker that owns part of the parcel, to relocate, and fund all construction. [NYT]Mark Maurer