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Friday, March 25, 2005 

Start spreading the news (maybe)

The NFL owners officially awarded the 2010 Super Bowl to New York yesterday, if the Jets can get their $1.7 billion stadium built on the West Side of Manhattan. There are still major hurdles. First, Jets owner Woody Johnson needs to outbid Charles Dolan (of Madison Square Garden and Cablevision) for the land to build the stadium. Then they need public approval for state and local funding, which is not exactly a slam dunk even with the potential of hosting the Olympics in 2012.

It seems unwise to be building a stadium in Manhattan for several reasons. The cost of security for high-profile events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics is so high that it offsets a lot of the benefits. (Think gridlock.) Yesterday, the AP reported that Patriots owner Bob Kraft was in favor of New York's bid because:

It will be a great economic catalyst to the city... The last Super Bowl in Jacksonville and the one before it in Houston and next year in Detroit creates tremendous exposure and tremendous economic opportunities.

I bet New Yorkers were excited to see their city compared with Jacksonville, Houston, and Detroit. Those cities need the exposure, New York doesn't. New York would be better off investing money in schools and infrastructure than in an expensive new stadium. Just the land alone would cost the Jets more than twice the money it cost Kraft to build Gillette Stadium for his Patriots.

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