Will New York Ever Build An Olympic Stadium

March 4, 2011
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July 6, 2005. On this day, the dreams of many New Yorkers would shatter. It was announced that London would now host the 2012 Summer Olympics, and that New York’s bid had failed. There were many reasons that the International Olympic Committee did not choose New York. However, the biggest factor according to the Olympic Bid Committee themselves, was that New York State blocked funding for the West Side Stadium. Without a stadium, the bid fell flat. Now, six years later, will New York overcome its difference and create a new Olympic Stadium?

The Olympic Stadium Project, or the West Side Stadium/ New York Sports and Convention Center, was the key focal point of the proposed “Olympic Village.” This proposed plan would house close to 16,000 different athletes along the East River, according to an article by the Design Build Network. It would also contain different venues throughout the five boroughs and into Long Island, according to the Queens Tribune. These venues like Madison Square Garden and the Nassau Coliseum would house different sporting events. However the main focal point would be the West Side Stadium.

The West Side Stadium area is an undeveloped strip of land bordering the East River. Developing the stadium could cost very well over $1.5 billion, according to an article on ESPN.com, possibly more than Wembley Stadium which will hold the 2012 Olympics. It may even exceed the cost of the New Meadowlands Stadium, which in itself had many financial problems. It was these financial costs that were an obstacle for the people of New York, although 60% of the costs came from the Jets and 40% from the State itself, according to that same article.

However, should this issue be brought up again? Some might argue that the Olympics are gone and the next Olympic bid would be possible after 2020. With the Summer and Winter Olympic bids so far away, there are many challenges that are still to be overcome. One is Cablevision, the sixth largest cable provider in the country, also the owners of Madison Square Garden. According to an article on the Daily News, by providing ads that made it seem like it would drain taxpayer money, they were trying to protect their business in “The Garden.” Many people believe it would increase traffic congestion in an already busy environment. An interesting argument is that opening up development in this area would release a rat infestation that may plague the city for years, as reported by Fox News New York. Due to these reasons, the state refused to give money, and the project fell flat.

There are, however, several advantages by building a new venue for future sporting events. According to Mayor Bloomberg, the projects would create several thousands of jobs, increase future revenue from holding future events, and give all New Yorkers a sense of pride in holding an international event, such as the influx after the two World Fairs New York has held (1939 and 1964), according to NYParks.org. A prominent symbol of these events, the unisphere, is still visible in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

So we see that the choice is in the hands of our cunning politicians. But the true choice should be in the hands of the people, those who want to see the glory of a stadium built in New York. Is it time for the Olympic Village to be built? Well, only time will tell.

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