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Jets Score Railyard Bid

March 31st, 2005
The New York Jets won the bidding process for air rights over the West Side Railyards on Thursday when the MTA, who owns the yards, in a nearly unanimous decision, voted to accept the Jets’ proposal to build a new stadium, the New York Sports and Convention Center, on the site. The New York Jets won the bidding process for air rights over the West Side Railyards on Thursday when the MTA, who owns the yards, in a nearly unanimous decision, voted to accept the Jets’ proposal to build a new stadium, the New York Sports and Convention Center, on the site.

The 17 voting MTA board members, who have 14 total votes, selected the Jets offer over two competing proposals, one from Cablevision, which has proposed building housing on the site. The MTA opened the bidding process in late February and accepted bids on the site on March 21st. The bids were voted on at a meeting of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday.

“This offer includes $250 million, an aggressive bill schedule, and an extension of the Number 7 line, which goes a long way towards improving our board’s mission of providing transportation,” said MTA board director Peter Kalikow at Thursday morning’s proceedings. “There is also the possibility that the TDR’s will yield us nine-figure money, and that there will be an incremental value that will be added to the eastern yards that a complex as envisioned with the west side rezoning, with the stadium and convention center, will bring.”

The Jets' proposal provides up to $720 million, with $440 million coming from six developers who would buy additional development rights on the site. The offer requires further re-zoning to allow for those additional rights. The state and city will pay $600 million for a platform over the rail yards and a retractable roof.

The NYSCC is expected to provide 18,000 construction jobs and 7,000 permanent jobs by Jets projections, and has received backing from building trades unions and many local politicians. The stadium, which still must receive approval from the Empire State Development Corporation and the Public Authorities Control Board, is scheduled to open for the 2009 NFL season and is a key component of New York’s bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In addition, the NFL has awarded the 2010 Super Bowl to New York, contingent on the stadium being built. The NYSCC will also enable New York to compete for major world-class events that cannot be accommodated otherwise, such as the NCAA Final Four and professional soccer. Proponents of the project feel that a 2010 Super Bowl in New York could generate $400 million in economic impact for the city. The NYSCC will also herald the return of college football to New York City for the first time since 1962, with the creation of a new Big East Conference bowl game. And, the Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Jr. Classic has already agreed to move its popular annual game played between two historically black colleges from the Meadowlands to the NYSCC.

**Story courtesy NY Jets.

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