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City: Cyclones are hitting foul balls

The Brooklyn Paper

The Brooklyn Cyclones owe the city $129,692 in back taxes and fees, according to a city audit.

Comptroller Bill Thompson’s report said that the corporation that owns the Cyclones was in foul territory because it underreported its attendance and usage of special events space at Keyspan Park, the Cyclones’ home field, in in the years 2004–2006.

This is the second strike against the Coney Island team, which has still not pitched in the $9,064 it owes to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for special events revenue from 2003, plus accumulating late fees.

“The city should be fairly compensated,” Thompson said in a statement.

Thompson’s bean-counters claim that the Cyclones, a Class-A-level farm team of the New York Mets, low-balled their actual attendance by 28,031 by excluding the bleacher bums from the official tally, and thereby saved money by not paying taxes levied on every ticket sold.

The attendance discrepancy might be due to mechanical error, rather than intentional malfeasance. The comptroller’s office made several recommendations to improve ticket-taking at the city-built jewelbox of a stadium after its earlier audit.

Only one of Thompson’s suggestions has been implemented, his office said.

Cyclones spokesman Dave Campanaro said the team has “paid rent with respect to the bleacher seating as required

by the lease.” He added that the Cyclones “are in direct dialogue with the city regarding the audit.”

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