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Industry holds its breath for Olympic decision.

The construction industry is holding its breath along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a decision from the International Olympic Committee.

Following a four-day visit to New York, the IOC said a new West Side Stadium is a must for the city to host the 2012 Olympics.

However, the building of the Jets NYSCC that is to be the venue for the many events is still very much in question. That project alone would create more than 7,000 construction jobs, according to the Empire State Economic Development Corporation. If the city is chosen to host the Olympics, it would bring billions of dollars in new construction.

During their visit, the 13-member Evaluation Commission did a thorough appraisal of the bid, after which they will write an extensive report about their visit. This report is released in June and is then presented to the full IOC just before they decide on a host city in July.

The Evaluation Commission was led by Nawal el Moutawakel, a Olympic gold medal winner from Morocco and the first woman to chair an Evaluation Commission. The same Commission visits all five bid cities--New York is third in the rotation after Madrid and London and before Paris and Moscow.

IOC members held a press conference February 25 saying the stadium was crucial for New York City to win the bid.

"We need a stadium, and we received assurances the stadium will be there," said el Moutawakel, in a news conference held at the Plaza Hotel this week. Mayor Bloomberg is "a winner and his team is a winning team, so we trust that between the end of March or even in July, this project will come to an end."

"It has been exciting sharing our plans and vision for an unforgettable 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with the members of the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Although city and state officials said they were encouraged by the IOC visit, recent events may hamper their efforts to build the stadium. The MTA has opened the Hudson Yards to other bidders, politicians have asked 'for fairness to all bidders and legislation has been proposed that would block the stadium's financing.

In his State of the city address, Speaker Gifford Miller said he disagrees that the stadium is necessary for the city to win the Olympic bid.

"We don't need to build a stadium today for an Olympics that is seven years away--particularly when there are better venues in our city, like in Queens, on which to build," he said

But El Moutawakel said "The site that has been shown to us, if it comes to an end, to an agreement, can be a very important legacy to the city, to the athletes, and to the Olympic movement."

Miller vowed to continue his efforts to stop the stadium he believes will be a "terrible mistake."

In addition to visiting more the nearly 20 game venues in and around New York City, the IOC visit also included a performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center, a private dinner party at Mayor Bloomberg's home, and a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.

"We are honored to welcome members of the IOC back to MSG as our guests, for the second time in three days," said James Dolan, president and CEO of Cablevision Systems Corporation and chairman of MSG that is one of the bidders for the Hudson Yards.
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Author:Nelson, Barbara
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 2, 2005
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