Yankees Charity Fund Flows Far From Stadium

A Yankees charity fund is under fire for reportedly not living up to its promises to appease the local community surrounding the new stadium.

Home Field Advantage
Seth Wenig/AP
– Home Field Advantage
Former New York Yankees players stand for the national anthem during Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium.

The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund was established in 2006 to calm a community furious about the 25 acres of public parkland seized for the construction of the new Yankee stadium in the South Bronx.  The charity intended to distribute “almost $40 million in case grants and sports equipment, along with 600,000 baseball tickets, to community organizations” in the low-income area over four decades, according to the New York Times.

Investigations of the fund show that the charity has been “neglecting those who live near the stadium.” Instead, the fund sent money to wealthier parts of the Bronx that were not affected by the construction, as well as organizations with which it shares common board members, according to the Times

The newspaper discovered that of the $6.8 million distributed by the fund in the last seven years “only 30 percent – $2 million – went to charities sharing the same zip code as the new stadium or the four bordering zip codes.”

The agreement also included awarding 25 percent of the stadium jobs to Bronx-based businesses and the replacement of the parkland, which has taken a decade to restore only 84 percent of the space.

Alice McGillion, a public relations consultant for the Yankees, told the Times that team officials would not comment on the fund’s activities or operations.  The city’s Department of Investigation declined to say whether there was an active investigation into the fund, according to the paper.