NEW YORK – According to Reuters the New York Jets football team on Wednesday said it had dropped its roughly 10-year-long fight to build a $2 billion stadium on Manhattan's West Side.
The team refused to quit despite a number of obstacles, including community opposition, lawsuits and finally, the state's rejection of a financing plan.
In a letter to the state transit agency that owns the land, the Jets contended that the city was losing out on 18,000 construction jobs, 7,000 permanent jobs and over $1 billion in new tax revenue.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, which owns the rail yards the stadium would have been built over, now will not get the $250 million the Jets would have paid, the team said in the letter.
Yet nearby Madison Square Garden, owned by Cablevision Systems Corp., this spring offered about $400 million for the same 13-acre site, only to see the MTA spurn its bid.
Other professional sports teams, including both the New York Knicks in basketball and New York Rangers in ice hockey, play at Madison Square Garden, which also hosts conventions. The Jets' new stadium would have competed with the Garden for convention business.
"The Jets have told us they were no longer interested in the site. We have a number of options, all of which the board will review, including putting it out for the rebid," said Tom Kelly, MTA spokesman.
A spokeswoman for Bloomberg, a Republican, who had hoped the team's West Side stadium would help bring the 2012 Olympics to New York, had no immediate comment.
Officials from the Jets, whose lease at Giants Stadium ends after the 2008 season, were not immediately available to comment on the team's decision or on a recent meeting with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who has offered the team a site in her borough.
The New York Giants football team has preliminarily agreed to build a new stadium in the Meadowlands and the Jets have also discussed sharing it.