Weekend of politicking expected

Updated: June 3, 2005, 3:37 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A state board delayed a vote on whether New York state should pump $300 million into a stadium that would provide a new home for the New York Jets football team and a vital selling point in luring the 2012 Olympics.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Olympic bid organizers said Friday that putting off the state Public Authorities Control Board until Monday will allow more time for negotiation.

But the change also puts the funding vote on the same day that the International Olympic Committee is to receive evaluations of the Summer Games bids by New York and four other cities.

The $2 billion facility to go up over the rail yards on Manhattan's West Side is considered key to New York's chances, and the mayor promised an IOC panel in February that it would be built.

Bloomberg said Friday during his weekly radio show that he thought there were "ways for us to get together and do what this city needs."

Gov. George Pataki, who also supports the stadium, agreed. "This is an issue that should be resolvable," he said.

Pataki has one member on the three-member state board. The other two represent Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who say they want more information.

Silver said Friday he was concerned that the 24 million square feet of office space in the West Side development plan would create competition with redevelopment at ground zero.

"I think we have things a little backward," Silver said. He and the mayor planned to meet over the weekend.

Bruno, in a letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge on Thursday, reiterated his support for a stadium -- but only if New York wins the bid over the challengers.

The IOC will select a host city for the 2012 Olympics on July 6. The other finalists are London, Paris, Moscow and Madrid.

The vote delay came a day after a key court victory for stadium boosters. State Justice Herman Cahn dismissed a lawsuit alleging illegalities in the Jets' deal to buy the land from a regional transit agency.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press