Yankee Stadium Parking Running Out of Cash for Bond Investors
Parking garages serving New York Yankees baseball fans won’t have sufficient reserves next year to pay investors holding about $240 million of tax-exempt debt, according to a security filing.
Principal and interest payments to bondholders next year total $15 million, almost double the cash currently available to repay investors, according to offering documents and a notice filed with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
After making a payment to bondholders today, Bronx Parking Development Co., a nonprofit that operates the facilities under a lease with New York City, has about $422,000 of debt-service reserves remaining and an $8.1 million surplus fund, according to the filing. The corporation said in June the securities must be restructured, with investors taking losses, or it may pursue bankruptcy protection. Bonds due in 2017 traded as low as 45 cents on the dollar Aug. 21, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“We are having many discussion with bondholders,” including the option to file for bankruptcy, Steven Polivy, an attorney representing Bronx Parking, said in a telephone interview.
Bronx parking has been hurt by Major League Baseball fans taking public transportation to games and falling attendance at Yankee Stadium. The combined average occupancy at the parking facilities is 43 percent, according to a Sept. 11 filing. When the debt was issued in 2007, the nonprofit projected an 88 percent occupancy rate.
It costs $25 to $48 to park during a Yankees game, according to the operator's website and a securities filing.
Edward Moran, a financial adviser for Bronx Parking, declined to comment on any potential bankruptcy filing or how the corporation plans to pay investors in 2013. The next payment is due April 1.
Bronx Parking issued $237.6 million of municipal bonds in 2007 through New York City’s Industrial Development Agency to build three garages, renovate two others and refurbish six lots near the 50,287-seat Yankee Stadium. The facility opened in 2009 adjacent to the site of the team’s old ballpark.
Nuveen Asset Management owned $131.1 million of the parking-garage debt as of Aug. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Kristyna Munoz, a spokeswoman for Nuveen, declined to comment.
Average attendance for Yankees home games is 43,691 this year, down from 45,107 last year, according to the ESPN website. The team has won 92 games and lost 67 and is tied for first place with the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.
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