Jets continue push for new Manhattan digs

Updated: May 9, 2005, 6:42 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Joe Namath, the New York Jets' most famous alum, urged lawmakers Monday to build a new stadium in Manhattan for his former team.

"A prediction?" Namath said. "We're going to have that stadium."

Unlike New York's 1969 Super Bowl win over the Baltimore Colts, Namath wouldn't guarantee a political victory for the Jets.

"Yeah, well, I had a little bit more to do with it, too," Namath said.

The Jets want to build a 75,000-seat stadium that would also be the centerpiece of the 2012 Olympics if the city is awarded the games. The project, which needs Albany's approval, would include a convention center. While the stadium itself would be financed by the Jets, the state and city would each contribute $300 million for related projects.

But key figures, including State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, have yet to support the proposal. The Public Authorities Control Board is to vote on the matter May 18.

Assembly members, labor unions and other stadium supporters rallied outside the Capitol on Monday. Bruno, who met with Namath on Monday, still hasn't made a decision, said his spokesman, Mark Hansen.

Opponents of the stadium include the owners of Madison Square Garden. They have filed a lawsuit seeking to void the Jets' successful bid for the right to build on the site of the West Side rail yards from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

MSG, which would compete with the new convention center for sports and entertainment events, says the bidding procedure for the rail yards was flawed and unfair.

This isn't the first time that Namath has supported the Jets. He started appearing in radio advertising paid for by the football team in August 2004.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press