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City of New York v. New York Yankees

458 N.Y.S.2d 486 (1983)

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City of New York v. New York Yankees

New York Supreme Court

458 N.Y.S.2d 486 (1983)

Facts

The New York Yankees (defendant) leased the use of the team’s home baseball stadium (Yankee Stadium) from the City of New York (plaintiff). Under the lease, the Yankees were required to play all their home games at Yankee Stadium. The city had made extensive renovations to the stadium, but there were still certain structural flaws. With the Yankees’ approval, the city was scheduled to make permanent repairs between the close of the 1982 season and opening of the 1983 season. In the summer and fall of 1982, the city kept the Yankees apprised of construction status. There was a slight chance the city would not be done with construction by the start of the opening home series between the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, scheduled for April 11, 12, and 13 at Yankee Stadium. In October 1982, the Yankees asked for a “guarantee” that the stadium work would be timely completed. The city was agreeable. The Yankees then added that the guarantee must include an assurance that there would be no debris in sight of fans and that every seat would be available. The city responded that it would use its best efforts and “in the worst case, only 1000 to 2000 seats would be unavailable.” About three weeks later in November 1982, the Yankees informed the city that the team would be playing its opening home series with Detroit at the Denver Mile High Stadium and would start the Yankees’ home schedule in New York on April 15. New York promptly sued the Yankees seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the execution of any agreement with Denver pending trial. The Yankees opposed the requested injunction on various equitable grounds.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lane, J.)

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