Push for Affordable Tickets in Publicly Subsidized Stadiums Gains Momentum in Albany

As hard economic times force Yankees to cut prices for their “premium” fans, legislators seek affordable tickets for the rest of us
April 30, 2009

New York, New York – In the wake of Tuesday’s announcement by the Yankees that the team will slash high-end ticket prices for their “premium” fans, State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) announced progress toward passage of legislation that would ensure that affordable tickets are available to ordinary New Yorkers in stadiums and arenas built or renovated with public financial support.

Assemblymember Kavanagh, the lead Assembly sponsor of a bill that would require at least seven percent of all tickets to every game to be sold at affordable prices, and Senator Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan) announced that Senator Perkins has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Senator Perkins join the fight to ensure that the general public not be excluded from arenas and stadiums built with huge amounts of public support,” said Assemblymember Kavanagh. “I’m sure it is a great comfort to ‘premium’ fans that they can now attend a Yankees game for a mere $1,250, rather than $2,500 – but the change will do nothing for the great majority of fans who have been shut out of this $1.5 billion stadium that the taxpayers helped to finance.”

“We need this bill,” said Senator Perkins, who chairs the Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions. “Government has no business subsidizing stadiums that are not affordable to local communities. Our legislation will insure that families that are not wealthy can also can take their kids to a game.”

The bill has already been approved by the Assembly Corporations Committee, led by Assemblymember Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester), which has been undertaking a broad oversight inquiry into the appropriate standards for public agencies to adopt in deciding whether to extend public benefits for the construction and renovation of sports facilities, including Yankee Stadium. Sixty Assemblymembers have joined Kavanagh and Brodsky in sponsoring the bill.