On the opening day of the New York Yankees’ play-off run, Mayor Eric Adams posted up outside Yankee Stadium Tuesday to tout the economic benefits the city is sure to see from the baseball postseason as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hizzoner gathered reporters at the Yankees’ west Bronx home Tuesday morning to announce the Major League Baseball postseason is expected to generate at least $100 million in economic activity for the city – although a release from his office put the figure at $93 million. He also gave updates on the city’s recovery from the pandemic, the announcement notably didn’t include any new economic development initiatives or policies.
“Playoff baseball is back in New York City, but it’s more than what happens on the baseball diamond, it brings about an economic stimulus for our city” the mayor said. “Sometimes people don’t connect the dots that when you have playoff baseball, it is just an economic revitalization for the entire city. It brings up our spirit, but it also fills our cash registers and pockets.”
Accompanying Adams were city Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Andrew Kimball, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson and Yankees Senior Vice President Brian Smith.
Each home game this season for the Yankees and the New York Mets, who played three playoff games but were eliminated over the weekend after losing to the San Diego Padres, is expected to generate roughly $15 million in economic activity for the city, the mayor said.
They’re “supporting local businesses, supporting restaurants, supporting buying merchandise,” he said. “It’s just really putting a boom in our economy. New York City’s the largest economic engine for this country, there’s no getting around it.”
“Over 30,000 visitors have flocked to each playoff game in New York City spending real money real dollars,” he added. “No matter where I go, I was in Times Square this morning, I just give tourists one message: ‘spend money, spend money, spend money.’”
Adams also pointed to several statistics as proof that the city’s hospitality industry is on the rebound from the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19. Visitors to Times Square are up, the mayor said, as well as the hotel occupancy rate, which is now at 91% of pre-pandemic levels. The mayor said that number is a reflection of how the city’s recovery is going overall, while seeming to bash news outlets for putting too much emphasis on several crises the city is currently facing like high crime and thousands of migrants who’ve come here in recent months.
“We’re not coming back, we’re back,” the mayor said in response to PoliticsNY’s question about the hotel occupancy rate. “And I say over and over again, that if you highlight the worst part of your day, you begin to define yourself by that day. I like to highlight the best part of our day. Twenty three point thirty [hours] is good stuff in the city. You have 30 minutes of bad stuff and if that is on the front pages every day that defines our city. But I know the 23 hours 30 minutes, which is so darn good stuff and that hotel occupancy number is a reflection of that.”