NY1 Exclusive: Bronx-Based Businesses Paid Big Bucks For Work On Yankee Stadium
Construction on the new Yankee Stadium is paying big dividends for minority-owned companies and local builders, much to the delight of Bronx politicians and Yankee officials. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed the following exclusive report.
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Construction at the new Yankee Stadium is moving right along, and Yankee officials say people from the Bronx are scoring work opportunities.
According to the Yanks, so far 35 percent of the construction contracts have gone to Bronx-based companies — 21 out of 60 businesses hired up to now.
Leon Eastmond's company is putting the boilers into the stadium.
"To ride by and say my boilers — our boilers, because I didn't do it by myself — are in Yankee Stadium, that is a very proud moment,” said Eastmond.
Five City Council members, including the speaker traveled to Eastmond's plant to congratulate him.
"We knew Yankee Stadium would bring jobs to the Bronx, and that is what it has done,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “These boilers are built by New Yorkers, by Bronx residents."
Bronx elected officials took a lot of heat for backing the new stadium. Opponents feared there wouldn't be enough jobs for blacks and Latinos from the borough. Councilman Larry Seabrook says there will be plenty.
"We must continue fighting to make sure the fair share of Bronx people are actually working at Yankee stadium, and that business people are participating,” said Seabrook.
In fact, the Yankees say that so far $75 million in contracts have gone to Bronx businesses that are supplying more than a quarter of the current stadium workforce. Blacks, Latinos, and women make up 45 percent of all workers.
"It is a delivery on a promise we made our community, and I am very excited and happy to see it happen today," said Bronx City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo.
And more positive news — a temporary park has been completed to replace some of the parkland taken over by the new stadium. NY1 was there as the first visitors took a stroll around the track.
"We known there will some inconveniences while the new Yankee Stadium gets built, but what we hope they will see is that we will keep our promises during the interim period,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “And there will be better parks than they had before."
The parks commissioner says there will be several more parks built while construction of the new stadium is going on. And when the old stadium is torn down, a major park will be built at the site.
- Dean Meminger