Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yankees have bona fide boondoggle with parking price increase

Think parking is too expensive now at Yankee Stadium? You ain't seen nothing yet. The parking garages closest to the ballpark are planning on raising their rates next season from $23 to $35! This is to close a budget shortfall due in part to...wait for it...not enough fans using the parking garages. Yes, because the easiest way to get more people to use the parking is to jack up the prices!

New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez has the scoop:
Even at those rates, the garages will still fall into a technical default unless two-thirds of bondholders agree to waive some requirements in the original construction bonds.

Bronx Parking barely managed to make a $6.8 million bond payment that was due Oct. 1 and will likely not have enough cash to make its next $6.8 million due in April. Without the waiver, the company warned, it will be forced to charge a minimum of $55 per car next year to avoid a default.
I haven't driven to a game at the Stadium in years, because it makes no economic sense for me personally. I can take the Staten Island Ferry into Manhattan and pay $4.50 round trip on the subway, or I can drive in, battle tons of traffic, and spend money on gas, bridge tolls, and parking, with current expenses coming in at around $35 or so. Not exactly a tough decision. Now, if I lived much further away, with no public transportation options, I would have to drive. But for fans who live closer, using public transportation makes the most economic sense.

Apparently, building these parking garages cost hundreds of millions of dollars:
The firm, which is independent of the Yankees, is a three-year-old subsidiary of a little-known Hudson County nonprofit, Community Initiatives Development Corp.

The city Economic Development Corp. selected Bronx Parking to build and run the parking system. In addition to getting the right to raise $237 million with tax-free bonds, the firm received $100 million from the city and state for the project. This generosity despite the fact that its parent firm had defaulted on two previous tax-exempt industrial development bonds in upstate New York.
Given how much parking costs at Yankee Stadium, most fans are either 1) taking public transportation to and from the game, or 2) parking at lots further away from the Stadium that cost significantly less money, like at the Gateway Shopping Center.The article says that the Stadium lots are operating at around 60% capacity. Not exactly a shock.

And raising the rates will only discourage people from using the garages. I mean, really, how does this make any logical sense? What's next -- forcing people to drive and park instead of taking public transportation?

I also want to know why it costs so much money to build these parking garages. Is that typical?

I don't know the answer to that. But I do know what the Texas Rangers charge to park in their lots -- $10. And this in an area where most people drive to the games. And get this -- unlike Yankee Stadium, where the parking garages charged $40 for playoff games, the Rangers even charged the same rate for the ALCS as they did in the regular season! Imagine that!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

No comments:

Post a Comment