I suppose this debate will be mainly of local interest to New York City-area Dopers, and I imagine most of us already know a lot about the subject. For those who are not familiar with it, this article has a good overview of the plan and the arguments of the opposing sides.
Personally, I’m in favor of this. Even opponents of the stadium admit that the Javits Convention Center will need to be expanded anyway, which means that a lot of the money that the city would spend on the platform over the rail yards and extending the 7 train will be spent anyway. A very large structure will then need to be built, with or without the Jets’ money…why not make it “with”?
There would be extra traffic during football season, but that’s only 8-10 games per year. Also, I think the traffic fears are exaggerated. Since the stadium would be on the waterfront, many would-be drivers could be convinced to take ferries…especially if the stadium ferry terminal were set up with a special “tailgate” area.
One of the anti arguments is that we’re unlikely to get the 2012 Summer Olympics because the 2010 Winter Olympics are being held in North America, and that we should at least wait until the Olympics are awarded to us before considering building this. First of all, I question the reason for the unlikihood - don’t we have Athens in 2004 immediately followed by Turin in 2006? But more so, why should we be fixated on 2012? If a New York Olympics is a good idea (a subject that is itself quite debatable), the stadium could anchor a 2016 or 2020 bid.
Finally, and most importantly, there is the Super Bowl. That event brings in millions of dollars to the host city, and a domed stadium on Manhattan’s west side will be able to host it. This is a major argument, I think, against those who are pushing a Queens location for a possible Jets stadium. When all these visitors come into the city, won’t they spend more if the stadium is just a stone’s throw away from Broadway, Times Square and (ironically, considering the Dolans’ opposition) Madison Square Garden? Won’t the city make more tax revenue from Super Bowl visitors staying in swanky Manhattan hotels than at the Ramada Inn-Laguardia?
I think New York City would be foolish to kill the Jets stadium proposal, end up having to pay the full cost of Javits Center expansion and either let New Jersey keep all of the region’s football revenue or build a totally separate structure for the Jets elsewhere.
But…what do you guys think?