More Suits For Jets Stadium

More opponents have filed a lawsuit to stop plans for the proposed Jets stadium in New York City. Four public interest groups want the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reopen bidding on its West Side railyards, which is the anticipated site for the professional football team’s facility.

The groups – Common Cause, Straphangers Campaign, Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign – claim the sales process was flawed and the cost to the Jets, $250 million, short-changed commuters, according to The New York Times.

A public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, was expected to file a similar lawsuit at press time and two more lawsuits based on environmental concerns were also reportedly in the works.

The lawsuits have nothing to do with a rival bidder for the railyards, Cablevision, which owns the nearby Madison Square Garden.

“We have no brief for the Jets or Cablevision,” an attorney for Straphangers told the Times. “We want top dollar. If we don’t get a fair price for the yards, the loss will be taken out on the riding public in fewer new cars and buses, less repairs and eventually higher fares and poorer service.”

The Jets want their $2.2 billion stadium on a platform above the railyards, and the MTA chose their bid rather than Cablevision’s $760 million bid, which centered on an entertainment and shopping complex.

The public interest groups believe the MTA, which appraised the land at $923 million, violated its statutory duty by not getting as much money as possible.

Neighbors and residential businesses are already voicing concerns about traffic, too.

The project is awaiting a May vote by the Public Authorities Control Board, which has stadium supporter Gov. George Pataki on the panel.