Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NYC and real estate

There's been an ongoing controversey over the building of a football stadium on Manhattan's west side, since it would cost at least $1.2 billion overall to build, and $600 million for the New York taxpayers. Sounds daunting, doesn't it? Not really.

It's opponents don't want to spend that kind of money on a football stadium, and that's a valid arguement. I'd rather see the Jets owner, Woody Johnson, spend more money than he is on the stadium plan. At the same time, plans for the stadium to be built in Queens do make sense, and would cost everyone less. I can't argue with that, either.

But I will make a statement: has anyone seen how New York City looks, these days? Sure, there are great things like Central Park (thank you, Rudy), but there's also alot of crap intermixed with the great stuff. And New York City suffers from the same thing that most cities do: too much central planning for projects that were out of date the moment that they were implemented. That means that large parts of NYC look like they just walked out of the 1960's, and are already past their prime. I mean that both architecturally speaking, and also technologically speaking. The power grid in NYC is designed for the 1960's. Many municipal buildings are also backwards. Too many train stations and city streets look like they were built in the 1940's..........because they WERE built then. Businesses are leaving NYC because of idiot politicians who think that taxes and money comes from trees, and thus, investment in NYC goes poof. And along with that, goes any restructuring of the city.

And to top it all off, the upper west side area that the Bloomberg administration wants to build the Jets' stadium is dead real estate right now. Why not build it up? Would it be expensive? Yes. Would it be a monumental construction project? Yes. Should rebuilding Ground Zero come first? Yes, although that should have been done already (Pataki's fault). And here's my answer:New York deserves it. New York's a great city, when they want it to be. No one has a better New Year's celebration. New York sports fans are the greatest- we don't riot like in other cities, when our teams win or lose. And we've got a great tradition of supporting the arts (even though a few anti-establishment artworks we all could do without). And New York hasn't had a football team since the Jets played at the old Polo Grounds.

The stadium would, in reality, be a financial windfall for NYC. We'd basically be paying taxes and GET BACK more from it, just from the basic revenue it would generate. It would revitalize the upper west side, as well as spur investment into NYC. And most likely, it would bring New York the Olympics in either 2012 or 2016. The financial windfall THAT would bring also would far outweigh the costs. And it would spur rebuilding on a massive scale not seen since the 1960's, and remake NYC for the 21st Century. Bloomberg's right about this- he's a businessman who sees both the short end and long term of the deal. You don't win unless you take risks, and this is a risk that's worth it. But the same politicians who can't find a way to rebuild Ground Zero want us NOT to build the West Side Stadium. For god's sakes, folks, at least tout that you are effective in one thing, before telling folks that you're not for another!

And I'm not even getting into Cablevision's war against the stadium, suffice to say that Cablevision should stick to being a cable provider, and never own a sports team again. Their track record with the Knicks and Rangers is an absolute embarassment, and they have NO right to yell about the Jets wanting a new stadium. George Steinbrenner has more to say than they do- and he doesn't care.

Rebuild NYC. Don't make me look at eyesores like Jamacia Station anymore, ok?


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