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Jets press ahead with stadium despite lawsuit.

The Jets drive to build the New York Sports and Convention Center won't be stopped by Cablevision's legal ramblings, the team said this week.

Madison Square Garden has filed a lawsuit against the MTA, the City of New York and Jets alleging the MTA "violated its statutory duties and the public trust" by not accepting MSG's "admittedly higher bid for these development rights in favor of a noncompliant and otherwise inferior bid.

However, the suit may not stop the chain of approval for the stadium, since Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg said this week that the Public Authority Control Board is authorized to vote on the project while litigation is pending. The vote is expected within months.

While the Jets legal team cannot comment on pending litigation, insiders say the football team will break ground on the stadium this summer.

In it's only comment, the Jets said, "In just six months, Cablevision and Gibson Dunn have sued to stop the Olympics, the expansion of the Javits Center, the extension of the number 7 line, the rezoning of Manhattan's far West Side, the creation of the New York Sports and Convention Center, and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. At least the Jets are in good company with the MTA, the City Council, the Department of City Planning and the entire City of New York--all targets of Cablevision's litany of frivolous lawsuits." MSG contends in its lawsuit that the Jets had the inside track.

"The MTA, the Mayor's office and the Jets stacked the deck in favor of the Jets at the expense of all New York taxpayers, subway riders and commuters," said Randy Mastro, MSG's attorney and partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP.

Those who would like to see the construction begin, say the process was fair.

"I can't imagine that there would be any basis for this lawsuit," Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York. "I certainly can't imagine that any judge would issue an injunction. I think the lawsuit is more for public relations benefit than a legal maneuver."

"I find it intriguing that Cablevision said that the process was unfair," said Lou Coletti, president of the Building Trade Employers' Association.

"Would they have said that, if they had won?"

Many await the thousands of jobs that would be created by the NYSCC, especially those for minorities, as well as the millions in revenue.

"The MTA selected the New York Jets bid because it is the best deal for New York and New Yorkers," Maria Castro, President of the Manhattan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"The New York Sports and Convention Center is a venue that is pivotal for the recovery of our city. The business capital of the world does not have world class facilities for world class events.

While the world does business with New York City, New York City cannot adequately host the world. It is time for Cablevision to stop halting progress for New York in an effort to protect its own monopoly."

The Jets still have to win the approval of the Empire State Development Corp, which is also expected.
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Title Annotation:New York Jets
Author:Nelson, Barbara
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 13, 2005
Words:520
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