Saturday, October 24, 2009

The New Yankee Stadium is a Lemon

What if you built it, and they came, and the damned thing turned out to be unsafe and full of cracks?
It seems the Yankees' new $1.5 billion city-subsidized stadium is beginning to show cracks, just six months after its debut. The team has recently fallen under scrutiny for cracks in the concrete pedestrian ramps -- some as much as an inch wide and several feet long -- prompting the team to hire an engineering company to determine whether the problems were caused by the installation, the design, the concrete or other factors.

On the bright side, Alice McGillion, a team spokeswoman, called the cracks "cosmetic," saying that they pose no safety issues because they did not affect the structural integrity of the ramps.

"There is no evidence that there is any issue or problem with concrete or any material in the building," she said.

Interstate Industrial Corporation, the company that poured the concrete, was banned from doing city work in 2004 because city investigators concluded it had ties to organized crime, an accusation its owners have denied.

Interstate may sound familiar since they are currently front-and-center in the trial of former Giuliani Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik. According to the Village Voice, Kerik is accused of accepting $165,000 in renovations on his Riverdale apartment from the DiTomasso brothers -- the principals of Interstate -- in return for recommending them for city contracts they were barred from.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the company that evaluated the strength of the concrete poured for the walkways, Testwell Laboratories, its owners and several officers were indicted last year on state racketeering charges. It's unclear whether the team will have to tear out any of the concrete in the ramps in question, however, according to the New York Times, the problem could cost several million dollars to fix.

Typical East Coast mentality--no one gives a shit. Well, if your fans have noticed that the structure is full of cracks and that the thing is falling apart after having only been open since April, then someone will quietly have to go back and assess whether all of that cheap organized crime cement was worth it.

Tonight's ballgame is moved to Sunday--how sad for me. I was hoping to see this series extended to seven games. One more day of rest will help the pitching, and perhaps we'll see an excellent game tomorrow night.

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