Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit

By Neil Demause; Joanna Cagan | Go to book overview

15 The Perfect Storm

There are only two things you do not want on a valuable piece
of real estate. One is a cemetery, and the other is a football sta-
dium.—University of Chicago sports economist Allen Sanderson

We make “investments.” We don't do subsidies. We get our
money back, and we make money.—New York mayor Michael
Bloomberg on his administration's stadium deals

All told, it hadn't been a great couple of years for New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. He'd had an extramarital affair and his subsequent estrangement from his wife exposed in the press, and he'd received treatment for prostate cancer and been forced to drop out of the race against Hillary Clinton for a U.S. Senate seat. His popularity had rebounded after his calm performance on 9/11, but even then, a lastminute proposal (by Giuliani himself) to extend the mayor's term by three months failed, leaving “America's Mayor” out of a job.

Perhaps most gallingly to the ex-mayor, Giuliani left office with one dream denied, that of cutting the ribbon at a new major-league sports stadium. At one point, the mayor's desk bulged with plans for eight city-subsidized sports facilities: new homes for the Yankees and Mets, a football stadium for the Jets, a replacement for Madison Square Garden, new pro soccer and cricket fields, and two new minor-

-272-

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Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface to the New Edition xi
  • Introduction - The View from the Cheap Seats xiii
  • 1: A Tale of Two Inner Cities 1
  • 2: Stealing Home 27
  • 3: Ball Barons 42
  • 4: The Art of the Steal 62
  • 5: Deus Ex Pizza 83
  • 6: Home Field Advantage 103
  • 7: Local Heroes 119
  • 8: Bad Neighbors 136
  • 9: Repeat Offenders 160
  • 10: The Bucks Stop Here 182
  • 11: Winning Isn't Everything 194
  • 12: One Year 198
  • 13: The Art of the Steal Revisited 225
  • 14: Youppi! Come Home 247
  • 15: The Perfect Storm 272
  • 16: Saving Fenway 318
  • Acknowledgments 341
  • Notes 347
  • Index 389
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