Bloomberg: Private money a must

NEW YORK -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg agrees: The New York Yankees could use a new stadium. So could the Mets. And the Knicks
and Rangers could use a new home, too.

But given the city's precarious financial status, the teams
should not expect New York to kick in a lot of cash toward any of
the projects, Bloomberg said Friday.

"It's got to be done with private money," Bloomberg said on
his weekly radio show. "We need a new Yankee Stadium. We need a
new Shea Stadium. In fact, we need a new Madison Square Garden.
Unfortunately, the city doesn't have a lot of money."

Bloomberg's comments came a day after Crain's New York Business
reported that the Yankees wanted to build a new, $750 million
stadium across the street from the existing Yankee Stadium.

The team was seeking $450 million in public money to build a a
hotel and conference center, improve and increase public
transportation to the area, and build three new parks elsewhere in
the Bronx, according to the Crain's report.

Under state law, the team must replace the parkland it uses.

The report, citing anonymous sources, said the Yankees planned
an announcement about the proposed new stadium in the next two
weeks -- although the team said that was not true.

"There is no date scheduled for any announcement," team
president Randy Levine said Thursday. "When we conclude consulting
with the mayor, the governor, the Bronx borough president and other
elected and community officials -- and when our plans are finalized
-- we will have something to say."

The team will likely seek to finance the facility by issuing
tax-exempt Industrial Development Authority bonds, with revenue
from the new stadium easily paying off the bonds, according to

The Yankees are looking at a design with about 50 skyboxes,
Crain's reported.

A tentative agreement to build new stadiums for the Yankees and
the New York Mets was announced just before Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
left office at the end of 2001. That nonbinding deal, which called
for the city and the teams to split the $1.6 billion cost of the
stadiums, was shelved by Bloomberg.