Reaction to death of Westside Stadium

What they are saying about the end of the Westside Stadium plan:


"Put it all on me. It's all right. I have broad shoulders. I kept telling the mayor the same thing. Building that football stadium doesn't make sense. It just doesn't make sense. And at that point, he finally revealed himself, I thought. He said to me, 'I need the stadium to develop the West Side.' And I said to him, I have never believed that is true. I like Mike Bloomberg, but none of this ever made sense.

"The question is not whether New York City should host the Olympics. The question is not whether New York City should host a Super Bowl or eight Jets home games every season. The question is, what do we address first, our moral obligations or our ambitions?

"Considering our constitutional obligation to provide each and every child with a sound, basic education, our moral obligation to rebuild and revitalize lower Manhattan, and our public obligation to provide a safe, affordable and efficient mass transit system, I cannot in good conscience cast my vote for the proposal before us today.

"For me this is a fight about restoring New York City's soul. It's about honoring the sacrifices made on September 11th. It's about a moral obligation each and every one of us committed to when we saw those towers go down. For me, it's about lifting my community, my hometown, my constituents from a kind of devastation never before experienced in the United States of America.

"Am I supposed to sell out the community I have fought for and represented for more than a quarter of a century? Am I supposed to turn my back on Lower Manhattan as it struggles to recover? For what? A stadium? For the hope of bringing the Olympics to New York City?

"And to those who say 'What about the jobs?' Let me point out that the mayor and governor have had almost four years to establish a construction schedule for Lower Manhattan."


"The Jets are prepared to invest $1.6 billion in the city we love and wish to call home, and yet somehow this project is being held hostage by politics that have nothing to do with what's best for New York, and everything to do with what's best for (stadium opponent) Cablevision.

"Today is a setback, but it is not the final chapter to be written in our quest to build a home for the New York Jets in Manhattan. Four years of hard work and planning will not be washed away in a single day. This is an unfortunate day for anyone who believes New York City should continue to build upon its bright past.

"[It's] appalling the notion that New York should only build in lower Manhattan - and nowhere else - is contrary to everything that made this city great."


"In the end, there was no reasoning with Sheldon Silver, nor was the Assembly speaker open to good-faith negotiations. Dead set on smothering development on Manhattan's West Side, he voted down the $2.2 billion stadium and convention center planned for the area. His stubborn, high-handed wrong-headedness was breathtaking.

"Silver created many losers and only one winner. Thanks to him, New Yorkers lose out on getting a state-of-the-art arena that would have more than paid for itself through increased tax revenue; subway and bus riders lose out on as much as $2 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; construction workers lose out on thousands of jobs; the hotel and tourism industry loses out on an influx of convention visitors, and the city loses a shot at hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

"Silver's lone beneficiary in this very bad bargain was Cablevision, the cable TV giant that spent millions of dollars on lobbying and public relations campaigns to defeat the stadium as a way to protect Madison Square Garden from competition. Among Cablevision's hooks was Silver's former top aide Pat Lynch. The company, apparently, got its money's worth.

"Say goodbye, too, to New York's reputation as a forward-looking city that welcomes sound business investment. The Jets had planned to pour $1.6 billion into the stadium, and they were unceremoniously sent packing. The team says it will consider whether it can build without Silver's blessing. Let's hope so."


"To the end, Bloomberg and his brash economic development czar, Daniel Doctoroff, were convinced the wily Silver, who had veto power on that board, had his price. Throw a few more dollars and programs at his district and he'll cut a deal, the mayor's people told everyone around them, winking and smiling.

"But in the end, Silver didn't budge. He didn't vote for the stadium despite enormous pressure on him from the mayor, the governor and the city's business elite."


"With a West Side Stadium in certain doubt, it is ever more clear that New Jersey is the best place for the Jets football team now and in the future. We are more than confident that the Jets will remain in New Jersey in a brand-new stadium in conjunction with the Giants that will open for the start of the 2008 season. We look forward to having conversations with the Jets, the Giants and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, and a long relationship for the future."


"Our preference would be for them to remain here in a new building with us, once the dust settles in New York."

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