DUTCHESS COUNTY COMPTROLLER ROBIN LOIS RELEASES STADIUM FOLLOW-UP AUDIT
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. – Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois has completed a follow-up audit on the Dutchess Stadium for the period of January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022. The objective of this audit was to review and report on the current lease agreements with the tenant, provide an update on capital projects including funding sources, and to examine the Stadium’s revenue and expenditures since the last review was published in November of 2020.
The Stadium ownership, lease agreements, and naming rights have all changed since 2020. Having been sold to the Heritage Financial Credit Union in March of 2023, “Dutchess Stadium” is now “Heritage Financial Park.” The Hudson Valley Renegades are also under new ownership, having been bought by DBH Hudson Valley, LLC in December 2021.
The Stadium’s net operational cost to the County taxpayers has increased since 2020, with the subsidy more than doubling from ($134,008) in 2017 to ($320,325) in 2022, and an estimated subsidy of ($422,594) in 2023.
“Although the Stadium is budgeted as a County Park, residents do not have free access to the Stadium as with a normal public park as it is a paid venue operated by a for-profit entity,” said Comptroller Lois. “The Stadium should be held to a different and higher standard for its tolerance of taxpayer subsidy. We strongly urge the administration to continue negotiations of the lease arrangement to lessen the long-term burden on the taxpayers.”
The County has committed over $30 million in capital improvements to the Stadium beginning in 2018, $25 million of which was added as an ill-advised last-minute amendment to the 2023 operating budget by the County Legislature. The Comptroller’s Office will continue to monitor and report on the revenue, expenses, and capital expenditures of the stadium.
The report can be found in its entirety, here.