1.29.2005

bloomberg's boondoggle

A little closer to home, Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks our financially strapped city - where ancient subway signals are spontaneously combusting and neighborhood activists are chaining themselves to firehouse doors - should increase the net worth of his billionaire friend Robert Wood Johnson IV, owner of the New York Jets.

New York doesn't need this stadium. It doesn't want this stadium. And the stadium plan itself is laughable. Who in their right mind would build a 75,000-seat football stadium without parking facilities?

No city in America has ever made money from building a stadium. People get rich all right, but it ain't us.

Bob Herbert recently wrote a nice screed against this insanity, in which he says:
To take the public's money, which should be used for schoolkids, for subway riders, for hospital patients - for any number of projects that might truly serve the public's interest - and hand it over to a billionaire who will use it as seed money to further his already fabulous interests is obscene.

I presume there will be naming rights for Woody's wonderful new playground. I can see the sign now: Bloomberg's Boondoggle.
For the 411 on stadium-building schemes in general, go to the source. Neil deMause will explain it all to you. His book Field of Schemes is essential reading, and not just for intelligent sports fans. Anyone interested in city planning issues should read it, too.

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