Cablevision Sues Over Stadium

As expected, Cablevision has filed suit over the initial approval for the New York Jets to build a stadium on the city’s west side. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked state leaders to ignore the lawsuit and finalize approval post haste.

The Jets, with the political and financial help of Bloomberg’s office, plan to build a state-of-the-art facility worth billions over the West Side railyards, near Madison Square Garden. Railyards owners Metropolitan Transit Authority recently welcomed the Jets’ $210 million bid for the site, dismissing Cablevision’s higher offer.

Cablevision, which owns MSG and has fought bitterly to keep the stadium from being built, has filed suit against the MTA, accusing it of violating “open and fair” legal requirements in its 14-0 decision, according to The New York Times. The Jets and the City of New York are also listed as defendants.

“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,” Randy Mastro, the Garden’s lawyer, said in a statement.

MTA chairman Peter Kalikow said he didn’t think Cablevision’s bid to build an entertainment and retail district above the railyards was an authentic gesture.

The Port Authorities Control Board needs to sign off on the deal; its three members are New York Gov. George Pataki, State Sen. Joe Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The latter two have said they are in no hurry to approve the Jets facility.

Cablevision is trying to stall the vote until July 7th, according to the New York Post. The International Olympic Committee announces its plans for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games the day before, and the facility – which would act as the Olympic stadium – is the centerpiece of the city’s bid.

Bloomberg urged the PACB to ignore the lawsuit, and warned if NYC loses its Olympic bid, the three state members, because of their alleged heel-dragging, will shoulder the blame, the Post said.