Stadium jeopardises NY Olympic Bid

NEW YORK, May 19 - A refusal to vote on a planned 75,000-seat Olympic stadium by New York officials could threaten the city’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Games, American newspapers reported on Thursday.
The planned vote, scheduled for Wednesday, was delayed after a pair of New York state lawmakers voiced concerns about the cost of the two billion US dollar project and recently filed lawsuits against it.
New York Governor George Pataki was quoted in the Albany Times Union as saying it is important that the stadium issue be resolved quickly in order to send a strong message to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC plans to pick a host city for 2012 Games on July 6 in Singapore.
The proposed multi-purpose stadium would also be used by the gridiron New York Jets club. It would be built on the west side of Manhattan close to the Hudson River.
A railyard would be transformed under the redevelopment plan, which the National Football League aided for its Jets by vowing to stage the 2010 Super Bowl at the new stadium should it be built.
The Jets’ bid includes 440 million dollars coming from six developers who would require zoning changes in exchange for their purchase of excess development rights.
One of the biggest opponents of the stadium is media giant Cablevision Systems Corp which owns the nearby Madison Square Gardens sports facility.
Cablevision has filed a lawsuit against the stadium plan and has spent more than seven million dollars in ads, criticizing backers of the stadium, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.
New York is vying with Moscow, Madrid, London and Paris for the 2012 Summer Games. The stadium issue was a central theme when the IOC’s evaluation team travelled to New York three months ago.
Before anything is official the stadium plan must be approved by the state’s three-person Public Authorities Control Board. The vote could be held at the board’s next scheduled meeting on June 22 or at an earlier date.