JUNE 7, 2005
A setback or a step forward for New York?
New York City's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics suffered a setback on Monday when plans for a $2bn stadium on the West Side of Manhattan ran into trouble over funding, with a state financing board failing to approve a $300m grant for the stadium, which would ultimately serve as the new home of the New York Jets National Football League team. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made it clear that if the city does not get the stadium it will not get the Olympics. This conclusion was also reached in an International Olympic Committee report published this week which ranked Paris as the favourite to win the 2012 Olympic Games.
The state financing board is split on whether it is worth spending the money necessary when major investment is needed in lower Manhattan where major reconstruction is planned following the terrorist attacks on September 11 2001 attacks which brought down the World Trade Center towers.
New York's hopes of landing the Olympic Games is slim at best and there is a strong argument that it would be wiser for the city to concentrate on smaller events and that a Formula 1 race would be a very valuable idea. Bernie Ecclestone makes no secret of the fact that he wants F1 in New York and has been trying to get a race there for more than 20 years. It is 23 years since Ecclestone announced an event on New York. The event never happened because of legal challenges and in 1984 CART stepped in and began racing at the Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey. This venue continued to be used until 1992 when there was another attempt to run a street race in Manhattan. That too failed. A couple of years ago Ken Podziba, Sports Commissioner of the New York, said that the city was "exploring various venues around the city."
Ecclestone said recently that New York was "more open to the idea of welcoming international events" and has talked about an event on "the East Coast".
At various times in the last 15 years other venues have been mentioned in addition to Flushing Meadow, including Atlantic City and Floyd Bennett Field, a deserted Naval Air Station an island in Jamaica Bay.
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