NYC Wants To Make Ends Meet by Extorting Marathon Runners

Maridav /
Maridav /

As the home to one of the most famous marathons in the world, along with hundreds of other races, New York City and its residents are familiar with adjusting for race day. Now, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is demanding $750k from organizers of the New York City Marathon. Better known as the New York Road Runners, they take great pride in doing this right.  MTA authorities claim this fee is to recoup losses from completely shutting down the Staten Island Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

While organizers have a way to avoid paying this if the MTA can keep the upper or lower section of the bridge open, racers have had access to either choice since 1988. With 50,000 runners expected in 2024, they need to use both if they don’t want the race to take two days. According to the New York Times, the Road Runners aren’t willing to pay this extortion, so they might be forced to turn runners away or make the race go significantly longer than before.

President of M.T.A. Bridges and Tunnels Catherine Sheridan issued a statement about their decision to hit them with these new fees. “New Yorkers love Marathon Sunday, but taxpayers cannot be expected to subsidize a wealthy nongovernment organization like the New York Road Runners to the tune of $750,000. The M.T.A. is prepared to continue working toward a final agreement with the N.Y.R.R., provided it leads, over time, to full reimbursement for the lost revenue.”

What Sheridan is leaving out is the New York Road Runners have been paying them for the bridge since 2021. In 2023 it was $150k. Additionally, the MTA is making back this money on other bridges being used as well as on subway use that increases with the race. Truthfully, the MTA isn’t losing money on the deal, and New York gains millions in revenue from the race every year. Making racers pay more could just push them into other races instead.