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Pirates, Phillies could face audit for stadium rental payments

This stems from an agreement in 1999.

Detroit Tigers v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of two MLB teams that could face a review and audit for rental payments, according to reports.

WTRF in Ohio tweeted yesterday that Pennsylvania lawmakers have called for the audit for both the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, as it is linked to state funding.

Lawmakers say in the early 2000s, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania contributed $320 million to build four stadiums in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Among those were PNC Park and Citizens Bank Park.

They say both teams agreed to pay $25 million in rent every 10 years, but there was a catch with the agreement: that being teams can get tax reductions to reduce that payment, but the reductions are dependent on how much tax revenue each stadium brings in per year.

Tim Bonner, representative for Mercer and Butler counties, is a leading force behind this movement. He said that both teams “are cherished and historic assets in their communities,” but they “need to ensure that the deductions ... are financially accurate, as well as determine the economic impact of the baseball clubs on each of their respective economic regions.”

Since the most recent Legislative session ends November 30, both Gregory and Bonner plan to introduce a bill early next year.

No word on what potential discipline both teams could face if found at fault. Both teams have yet to comment on the matter.