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Thursday, March 31, 2005 

Send in the lawyers

Today, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority accepted the Jets bid of $720 million for air rights on the MTA's rail yards on Manhattan's West Side. Cablevision's (i.e. Charles Dolan's) $760 million bid was rejected, even though their proposal for a park, housing, library, and public school would have not required any public money. The Jets are expecting $600 million from the city and state to help build the stadium. Plus, the Jets will only pay $280 million themselves - the rest of the $720 million comes from private developers who get the rights to the "excess" land outside the stadium.

The Cablevision offer was doomed from the start. Too many politicans are behind the Jets stadium proposal, who drew support from three different internal constituencies: those who want to bring football back to New York City, those who are backers of the Olympics effort, and those who want the chance to divvy up that $600 million in public funds and reward their friends and supporters.

Of course, there are already lawsuits filed, so while the Jets have won the bidding, can they win the court battles?

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