NYC Officials’ Suite Secret

If news of future ticket prices at the Mets’ and Yankees’ new stadiums rankled fans, just wait till they hear about the perks New York City officials are getting at the venues.

According to a recent New York Times report, city officials are under fire for secretly negotiating perks and luxury suites for themselves at Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium.

Besides suites at the parks, the deal reportedly allows the city to purchase 145 tickets per Mets home game and 180 tickets per Yankees home game at face value in a special presale.

State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who runs a committee on public authorities, told the Times the city had yet to explain how the perks would be paid for and why they were necessary.

“They’re subsidizing this gigantic increase in ticket prices, and they’re getting this luxury box for themselves? Gimme a break,” he said.

One official said the ticket and suite perks were nothing new.

NYC economic development chief Seth Pinsky told the paper the city already has suites at Shea Stadium and the minor league parks of the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees to entertain visiting VIPs and reward city workers.

In fact, the Times found many local and state governments that have financed stadium projects in recent years have saved suites for themselves.

For example, the District of Columbia Sports and Entertainment Commission, which financed the $611 million Nationals Park in Washington, reportedly held on to two suites and 25 field-level tickets per game.

The question remains whether officials can monitor use of the perks so that taxpayer dollars aren’t abused.

“The legitimate reason is supposed to be to use it to market the city,” the president of one team that recently built a publicly financed stadium told the Times. “But are they capable of it?”