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Cablevision Sues MTA Over Railyards

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — As expected, Cablevision has fought back against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s decision to sell the development rights to the West Side Railyards to the New York Jets, with a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, accusing the MTA of violating “open and fair” legal requirements.

A $400 million offer from Cablevision Systems Corporation, who owns Madison Square Garden, was rejected by the transit board in favor of a lower bid by the Jets.

The transit board voted unanimously to sell control of the railyards to the Jets for only $210 million, after several members said the long-term benefits from having a football stadium and convention center on the site outweighed Cablevision’s rival bid that offered nearly twice as much money up front, according the New York Times.

The stadium plan will play a big part in the city’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. A decision on the location of the Games will be made this summer.

Cablevision’s lawyers said immediately after the transit board chose the Jets, that it would file a lawsuit accusing the board of violating its responsibility to do what is best for the transit system and to accept the higher offer.

In the suit, MSG claims that the transit board violated “its statutory duties and the public trust” by not accepting MSG’s “admittedly higher bid for these development rights in favor of a non-compliant and otherwise inferior bid,” according the the Times.

The suit also names the City of New York and the Jets. It goes on to say that the MTA violated state law by “structuring a bid process designed to favor the Jets.”

“In an effort to cripple MSG’s proposal, the City has intentionally interfere[ed], through wrongful means, with MSG’s prospective business relations with the MTA and potential developers,” the statement says.

Prior the vote, several members of the board took a rare step by explaining their reasoning, which was viewed at the time as a tacit recognition that they expected a lawsuit, according to the paper. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers