New N.Y. stadium clears hurdle


NEW YORK (AP) – Plans for a new ballpark for the New York Yankees moved forward Wednesday when the City Council approved several key aspects of the planned $800 million stadium.

The 45-2 vote cleared the way for some of the team’s land-use plans, including a takeover of two public parks as a site for the 53,000-seat stadium, which would be built adjacent to the current ballpark in the Bronx.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a vocal opponent of the New York Jets’ plan to build a stadium in her district on Manhattan’s West Side, said the Yankees’ plan is a good one by comparison because it includes new parkland and a new commuter train station.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion back the ballpark, which has been approved by the city’s planning commission.

Stadium critics were displeased with the loss of the parks, saying the plan to replace the lost acreage with new green space elsewhere was inadequate.

Some also have attacked the idea of taxpayer funding for the richest team in baseball. The city and state have committed to spending $215 million, but opponents have said they believe the public’s share of the project could climb to $400 million.

That issue will be the subject of Monday discussions by the council’s finance committee, which is considering whether to help finance the stadium by issuing tax-exempt bonds. The Yankees have promised a variety of amenities to the Bronx, including thousands of free tickets for community groups.

AP-ES-04-05-06 1755EDT