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Monday, May 11, 2009
Yanks to pay for memorabilia-sale rights

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- New York City will receive $11.5 million from the Yankees in exchange for giving the team rights to sell off seats, signs and other memorabilia from their old ballpark.

After two homestands at the new Yankee Stadium dominated by home runs and empty seats near the field, the Yankees and Steiner Collectibles scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to announce memorabilia sales and prices for the original Yankee Stadium, including sod and dirt plus bricks from Monument Park.

"The city's agreement with the Yankees will generate much-needed revenue for the city and offer fans a chance to own some of the famed Yankee Stadium history," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement Monday.

The Mets sold seats from Shea Stadium at $869 per pair, and the Yankees were expected to charge substantially more. The city said it has earned $3.5 million from the sale of Shea Stadium memorabilia, under which it gets 70 percent of revenue after sale costs and the Mets receive 30 percent.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a constant critic of the Yankees, disapproved of the agreement.

"The value of the relics of Yankee Stadium is clearly much more than $11.5 million," he said in a statement. "After a yearlong delay which cost the people of the Bronx access to their parkland, the deal that has apparently been struck is again an economic victory for the Yankees and an economic defeat to the taxpayers. There is no dispute that the people of the City owned the old Yankee Stadium, and there is no reason to cap their economic gain at $11.5 million. We also believe an appraisal was required before the deal could be struck, and it is not clear that any such appraisal was done."