STEINBRENNER'S FOUL DEAL

Time for another report [sports theme] from the "Wide, Wide, Wide, WILD World of Sports."

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Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
STEINBRENNER'S FOUL DEAL
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Time for another report [sports theme] from the “Wide, Wide, Wide, WILD World of Sports.”

Today’s feature: “The House That Ruth Built,” is to be replaced by “The House That Greed Built.” Yes, Yankee Stadium, is to be bulldozed and dumped on the altar of money, replaced by a shiny new $1.2 billion baseball palace. With shovel in hand, Yankee mogul George Steinbrenner took part in the August groundbreaking. “It’s a pleasure to give this to you people,” the billionaire boss said.

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Give? George was shoveling BS at us. In fact, New York taxpayers are the ones doing the giving. In a deal rammed through the city council without even giving the public a chance to speak, New Yorkers are putting up about $400 million so Steinbrenner can erect this edifice for his own profit. Also, the Yankee owner will be given a pass from paying real estate taxes on his sprawling new business property.

Well, says George with a regal wave of his hand, the replacement stadium will be “much better for the fans.” That’s another shovelful of BS. George’s place will have some 7,000 fewer seats than the House that Ruth Built. Real fans also might not think its “better” to have to pay higher prices for tickets, which are to rise from an average of $50 each, already the most expensive seat in the league.

Ah, but George has added some seats for the customers that really count with him. He is tripling the number of luxury suites, which will cost about half-a-million bucks each, allowing corporate executives and clients to sip cocktails and watch the game on TV while sitting in splendid isolation above us riff-raff. Also, George will pocket millions from corporations paying to put their names and logos on every wall, gate, ramp, and other piece of this publicly-funded, private palace.

This is Jim Hightower saying… This deal shows how the rich get richer – they rip-off the rest of us.

Sources:
“Ground is broken for house that George built,” Austin American-Statesman, August 17, 2006.
“House that Greed will build,” Newsday, August 16, 2006.
“Yankees ready to break ground,” Newsday, August 16, 2006.
“Yanks could cash in on stadium,” Boston Herald, August 23, 2006.

I’m making moves!

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