Thursday, March 31, 2011

Parking rates at Yankee Stadium skyrocket

Parking rates at Yankee Stadium skyrocket

March 31, 2011 by NEIL BEST /
Before the Yankees recorded their first official statistic of 2011 Thursday, many of their fans were unpleasantly surprised by this number on opening day: 35.
That is the cost, in dollars, to self-park -- it's $48 for valet service -- in the garages and surface lots outside Yankee Stadium, up from $23 in 2010 and $12 as recently as 2005.
"I guess it's expected -- when you have a $200 million payroll, someone has to pay the bills," said Deek Medzadourian, of Washington Township, N.J., before the home opener against the Tigers.
The hefty increase is not the Yankees' doing, though. The team does not control the lots.
"I'm still not happy about it," Medzadourian said. "I just texted my friend, who is driving here. I told him to be ready to pay."

The spiraling cost is a byproduct of the financial woes that have beset the corporation the city chose to build and operate the spaces surrounding the stadium. Primarily because of major underuse of the 8,500 or so available spots, the Bronx Parking Development Co. (BPDC) has flirted with defaulting on its bonds and is far behind in rent and taxes to the city, said people familiar with the situation. A city official, who asked not to be identified, estimated that the unpaid rent totals $10.5 million, and unpaid payments in lieu of taxes are $6.4 million.
The latest price increase was a last-ditch effort to increase revenue, at the risk of driving even more fans from official parking to alternate lots or public transportation.

"Everything is going up in this world, so I am not surprised parking is up, too," said Joseph Stamm of Flatbush before the game. "I would expect it."
The Yankees sought the large parking capacity around the stadium as part of its deal for new Yankee Stadium, but fans have flocked instead to public transportation -- including a new Metro North stop nearby -- and cheaper independent parking options. They include the Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market several blocks away.
The Yankees naturally are displeased about the negative public-relations impact of the $35 charge and have offered to work with BPDC to market the spaces, so far to no avail.
"If they asked us for help, we would gladly assist," said Alice McGillion, a team spokeswoman. BPDC would have faced default on its $237 million in tax-exempt bonds Friday if bondholders had not struck a deal last week to keep the company going at least through this season, after it dipped into its reserve fund.

"The agreement will give BPDC and the bondholders time to evaluate potential remedies to the current shortfall," said Kyle Sklerov, a spokesman for the New York City Economic Development Corp."Over the next year we will make ourselves available to assist in discussions with all parties involved to help evaluate potential alternatives. We remain open to exploring all options that the parties and others propose."
Sklerov stressed that the city is not at financial risk. "The bonds are not a general obligation of the city or the IDA [Industrial Development Agency] in any way, shape or form," he said.
A BPDC spokesman did not return calls seeking comment.
The Mets control the lots outside Citi Field under the terms of their lease with the city, said Dave Howard, executive vice president of business operations.
The city does have the right to approve prices. The cost for 2011 is $19, up from $18.
With John Riley and Robert Cassidy

Monday, March 28, 2011


Bill White, one of baseball's most significant figures in the 20th century, will discuss and sign copies of his new memoir at the Yogi Berra Museum& Learning Center on Friday, April 1 from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

A standout first baseman in the 1950s and '60s, and outspoken critic of racial policies in spring training, White became baseball's first African-American play-by-play man when he joined the Yankees' broadcast booth in 1971. He teamed with Phil Rizzuto for 18 years as one of the game's most popular announcing tandems.

In 1989, White became the highest-ranking black executive in baseball when he became National League president, serving until 1994.

Copies of White's new book, "Uppity: My Untold Story of the Games People Play" are available at the Museum. To RSVP or reserve a personalized copy, call 973-655-2378.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Question about the 1960 and 1961 Old Timer's Day Game - Help!

Hello,  I received the following question from a fan, named Sue.  She asked the following:


Do you know when the date of 1960 Yankees Old timers game and if George McQuinn was a part of that game, as an old timer? Also do you know if there was an Yankees old timers game in 1961? If so, the date and if Joe DiMaggio was there, as well as George McQuinn?

My family & I were at one of those games and my brother was able to get some autographs. However, there us no date on them.

Thank You.


Below was my response......

"Hi Sue,

As you already may know, George McQuinn played for the Yankees in 1947 and 1948. Played 144 games in 47 and 94 in 1948. Most of his career was spent with the St. Louis Browns, from 38-45. He was an All-Star in 47 and 48 with the Yankees and finished 6th in the voting for the MVP, won by Joe DiMaggio that year, with another Yankee, Joe Page, finishing 4th in the voting. Amazingly the Yankees had many players in the top 20 for MVP voting that year...also included were Tommy Henrich, Spec Shea, Yogi Berra, Allie Reynolds, and Billy Johnson.

The game in 1960 was played on Saturday, August 13, 1960 and featured "The 1939 American and National League All Star Teams".

The game in 1961 was played on Saturday, July 29, 1961 and honored "All-Time Stars of the New York Yankees, Giants, and Brooklyn Dodgers." This was the 15th annual Old Timer's Game. This was the first time that the Yankees honored the all-time New York area ballplayers.

There has been an Old Timer's Game was played each and every year since 1947.

I would make sense that he was invited to the 1960 and 1961 games, as well as DiMaggio.

I wish I had more information on all the games, but there is so little on them.

The page I have dedicated to it is here:

Sorry I could not be of more help. I will ask a friend of mine Paul if he knows anything more. He may have a program or yearbook that would show a list of invitees. If so, I will pass it on.

All the best,
Any help on whether George McQuinn or Joe DiMaggio were there would be greatly appreciated.  If anyone has those programs and can confirm, please contact me ASAP and we'll get the information to Sue.

Thanks for your help,