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VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 4

  • pg 1
									                                       FACT SHEET
                                     THE JETS STADIUM


“New Yorkers are being pushed into a deal that could, in the end, leave the city with nothing but
a football team playing on the river, more traffic congestion and a pile of new debt.”
       -- New York Times editorial, March 25, 2004


The City and State subsidies for the proposed Jets football stadium in mid-town
Manhattan – over $600 million – are the largest public subsidies for a sports facility in the
country. This is the wrong priority for precious taxpayer dollars.
      The Jets stadium plan is an enormous diversion of public funds from schools, housing,
       public safety, and other important initiatives to help a football team owner from New
       Jersey build a new stadium.
      The public funds that would be devoted to this project alone almost exceed the total cost
       of any other stadium in this country.
      The bill to the taxpayers will be much higher than $600 million – when all the City and
       State contributions to the stadium are included, such as: the value of the MTA’s prime
       waterfront land, transit improvements, adjoining parks, pedestrian bridges and tunnels,
       parking garages for Jets fans, and other infrastructure.
      This money is being spent at a time when the city has closed six firehouses, public
       schools are grossly underfunded, and both the city and the state face massive debt that
       has recently resulted in large increases in taxes.


The City and State are diverting $350 million from Battery Park City Authority to the Jets
Stadium project even as there are pressing needs to rebuild downtown Manhattan and to
fund schools and basic services.
      The Authority generates revenue for the city that historically has been used to pay for
       subsidized housing, close budget gaps during lean years, and pay for basic city services.
       Now, the city proposes to divert $350 million of Battery Park City resources to subsidize
       the Jets Stadium project.
      This is money that could otherwise go to rebuilding Lower Manhattan, our schools, and
       our firehouses.



The plan for a new Jets Stadium hinges on a giveaway of substantial public value to private
interests.
“[T]he proposed stadium would be a flagrant misuse of a priceless plot of land in the heart of
the city ... traffic, already atrocious because of the Lincoln Tunnel, would be a disaster on game
days ... The area will either become one of the city‟s treasures—or home to a glitzy stadium



                                           Page 1 of 4
surrounded by a wasteland that will stand as a symbol of Mayor Bloomberg‟s and Governor
Pataki‟s failure of vision.”
       -- New York Observer Editorial, March 4, 2004
      The Jets Stadium would occupy four full city blocks along the Hudson River, a prime
       Manhattan waterfront development site.
      Instead of the City and State paying $600 million to build the Jets Stadium, the MTA
       could sell the development rights over the stadium site and the ensuing development
       would add to the City’s tax base.
      Press accounts indicate that the MTA estimates the fair-market value of the MTA’s West
       Side rail yards at approximately $1.2 billion. The Jets Stadium would occupy half of the
       yards, but the value of this public land is never included in estimates of either the cost of
       the Jets Stadium or the public subsidy for the Jets Stadium.



The Jets Stadium will make for substandard and costly convention space.
“I just don't see the stadium being of any long-term help. It's being built for other reasons,
football."
       -- Peter Nathan, trade show veteran and former head of marketing and sales at the Javits
           Center, Quoted in the New York Times, February 9, 2004
      Convention centers host conventions, sports stadiums host sporting events. Convention
       organizers don’t hold their events in stadiums, just as the Jets wouldn’t play their games
       in Javits.
      The northward expansion of the Javits Center will add 650,000 square feet of ideal,
       contiguous convention space, whereas the 200,000 square feet of space in the Jets
       Stadium is poorly designed and hard to access for convention use.
      Some cities have convention centers that use space in sports facilities, but sports facilities
       do not make good convention spaces. The top convention centers in the country do not
       use sports facilities. Adding a substandard sports facility as convention space would not
       help attract the largest trade shows.


The Jets Stadium will generate a traffic nightmare.
"I am not looking forward to potentially five years of traffic disruption due to construction that
would adversely affect my union members and patrons of the theater … The Great White Way
has been a magnet for tourism of approximately 250,000 patrons per week, not the Jets for
approximately 10 games per year."
       -- Tom Short, President, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
          Public Statement, March 15, 2004




                                            Page 2 of 4
      A Jets game would attract approximately 16,000 cars – a volume equal to the combined
       morning rush hour totals at the Queensboro Bridge, the Queens Midtown Tunnel and the
       Lincoln Tunnel combined.
      The Jets have yet to explain where the 16,000 cars and 100 buses coming to Jets games
       would park. 16,000 cars would require more than 70 acres of parking lots and garages.
      When 75,000 fans leave the Stadium after a Jets game the area street network would be
       overwhelmed with people, and traffic would approach gridlock conditions.
      The Jets claim that 70% of the fans coming to the Jets Stadium would use mass transit.
       No stadium in the country has such high transit use. The highest level of mass transit use
       by NFL fans appears to be Baltimore at 24%. Currently 4% of Jets fans use mass transit.
      Surveys of Madison Square Garden have established that, even though the Garden is
       located directly over Penn Station – the busiest transit hub in the city – only about 50% of
       Knicks and Rangers fans use mass transit.


The Jets Stadium will have a blighting effect on the West Side community
“[T]he football stadium for the New York Jets that the city wants to build … will cost a fortune
and will make the neighborhood less attractive to apartment buyers. Queens would be a better
place to put the stadium.”
       -- Newsday New York editorial, February 12, 2004
      The Jets Stadium would be a massive box (800 feet long, 790 feet wide and 300 feet tall)
       obscuring the western horizon, blocking the waterfront, dwarfing neighboring waterfront
       buildings, including the Javits Center.

      The Jets Stadium would occupy prime waterfront land primarily for the purpose of
       hosting ten football games a year. For the remainder of the year, the facility would have
       a deadening impact on the West Side. Even if the stadium was used for convention
       events as proposed, that activity would be buried in a structure with ten times the floor
       area and would scarcely be perceptible to pedestrians walking the streets around the
       stadium.
      In other cities, football stadiums have not generated development in surrounding areas.


The City could strengthen its Olympic bid by building a less expensive stadium in Queens
where there is more space, less congestion, fewer security concerns and a far better chance
of avoiding the legal challenges associated with the proposed West Side stadium.

“By insisting that the fate of the Olympic bid hinges on giving the Jets what they want, the city
may drag down its chance to be the Games' host. It simply strains credulity to believe that the
best venue for opening and closing the Games must be created from scratch with a public
investment of $600 million.”
       -- New York Times Editorial, May 19, 2004



                                            Page 3 of 4
   A Queens stadium would eliminate the need to build a platform over the West Side Rail
    Yards at a cost of $375 million, would be a major financial savings.
 A Queens stadium would not encounter the transportation issues that affect a West Side
  stadium. A Queens stadium would benefit from existing Long Island Rail Road and 7
  Train service and from access to major highways.
 The City has said that Queens is not a viable option. But Newsday reported last October:
      “The „best alternative‟ to the Bloomberg administration's goal of an Olympic stadium
      on the West Side of Manhattan is the area around Shea Stadium, according to
      internal memos by the nonprofit group working with the city to snag the 2012 summer
      games. „Construction costs would be substantially lower than on the West Side,‟
      reads a Jan. 22, 2002, memo, adding that this „fall-back alternative‟ next to Shea
      could be converted into a 40,000-seat major-league soccer stadium after the
      Olympics.” (“Flushing City's 'Best Alternative' For Stadium,” Newsday, 10/2/03)
   A Queens stadium would reduce the cost and complexity of the Olympic plan, make the
    stadium more accessible to the Olympic Village, and strengthen the city’s 2012 bid,
    which is ranked fourth out of the five finalist cities.




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