Aqueduct Bids in Full
Eliot Brown Feb. 16, 2010, 5:56 p.m.
The state’s decided to bare all (or much, anyway) on the bids for the Aqueduct race track, as the governor’s office has released nearly all of the bidding materials for the mega-procurement.
The move was preempted earlier Tuesday by winning bidder Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which released what it said was an unredacted set of documents and correspondences with the governor’s office. The governor and AEG have come under intense fire for the bid, with allegations of political favoritism dominating the debate (AEG’s team includes Rev. Floyd Flake, who first suggested he would endorse Andrew Cuomo for governor, and then was paid a visit by Governor Paterson shortly after he green-lighted AEG’s bid).
The moves by both the Paterson administration and AEG seem intended to tamp down the fire, showing that there is nothing to hide. (Though the governor’s releases do include omissions, including personal information and apparently some attachments that list bidders’ investors.)
One useful document that compiles much of the info in a single place: a financial analysis report.
Based on estimates and other figures supplied by the bidders themselves, it found AEG, at least initially, did not have a tremendously strong bid, at least financially (the chart pictured here shows winnings per day). An e-mail from the state budget office lists AEG as having the lowest “present value” to the state of the five bidders at $2.9 billion. Then again, after a revised projection, it lists AEG as having the best “net present value” to the state—at $3.6 billion.