NYC will cancel Trump Organization contracts after Capitol riot

January 13, 2021

Photo of Wollman Rink by subherwal on Flickr

New York City will cancel three contracts with the Trump Organization after last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced plans to terminate agreements for two ice rinks at Central Park, the Central Park Carousel, and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. President Donald Trump still owns the organization but has given his sons Eric and Donald Jr. control over the business. “Goodbye to the Trump Organization,” de Blasio said during a press briefing. “We’re not doing any business with you.”

Each contract involves a different termination process. The termination of the contract for the Carousel, which is currently closed, will be effective 25 days after the city’s notice is delivered and the agreement for the Wollman and Lasker Rinks will end after 30 days written notice. The contracts for the ice skating rinks were set to expire this year.

“The President incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power,” de Blasio said in a press release. “The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form, and we are immediately taking steps to terminate all Trump Organization contracts.”

In December 2019, Council Member Mark Levine introduced a resolution asking de Blasio to terminate the Trump Organization contracts with the city. Levine, who has issued similar requests in 2018 and 2015, said the contracts violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and that Trump’s association with the venues cost the city money.

The Trump Organization removed the president’s name from the Wollman and Lasker rinks in October 2019, considered at the time a business move to boost revenue. In a 2018 report, the New York Times found both rinks saw revenue decline by five percent after the 2016 election and profits at the Carousel drop from $188,000 in 2015 to about $30,000 in 2017.

“It’s impossible to overstate the symbolic power of the cancellation of Trump’s contracts to run businesses in NYC Parks,” Levine said in a tweet on Wednesday. “Wollman, Lasker and the Carousel in Central Park are beloved places for New Yorkers. The Trump name emblazoned there felt like a punch to the gut.”

According to the city, the process for terminating the Ferry Point contract “is more detailed and is expected to take a number of months.” The agreement for the city-owned golf is in effect until 2032, according to the contract.

The city concessions have brought the Trump Organization about $17 million in revenue per year, according to the Washington Post.

De Blasio first attempted to end the contracts with the Trump Organization in 2015 after the president made racist comments about Latinos. But as the New York Times reported at the time, city lawyers told the mayor it was not possible because of First Amendment protections.

Trump’s name has been removed from six residential buildings in Manhattan and three hotels since taking office. But these properties are owned by those who paid to license the name, not the Trump Organization.


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