The Yanks Got Balls: City Documents Show Team Billed Taxpayers for Souvenirs, Bar Tabs (Village Voice)

If you thought last year’s news that the New York Yankees had billed taxpayers for their own stadium lobbyists was outrageous, then … well, that was outrageous, but this is pretty nuts, too: New documents show the team subsequently billed the city for all kinds of stuff and called it “stadium planning costs”:

Billing the city for the lobbyists he hired to push his new stadium (now taking shape across the street from the soon-to-be-demolished House That Ruth Built) was, it turns out, the least of George Steinbrenner’s chutzpah. According to documents obtained from the parks department’s archives via the Freedom of Information Law, the Yanks submitted to the city for reimbursement such “stadium planning” costs as a dozen crystal baseballs presented as a gift by the team, and bar tabs for Yankees execs—plus a whopping $9 million in expenses incurred the year after the team’s sweetheart-lease clause expired. And it’s become increasingly clear that city officials diligently looked the other way while this was taking place… [read more]