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Jets raise offer for rights to build stadium

NEW YORK (March 22, 2005) -- The New York Jets offered a dramatically increased $720 million bid for the rights to build a football stadium on Manhattan's far West Side that is key to the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said they received five offers for the property three blocks west of Madison Square Garden before bidding ended, but two bidders were immediately disqualified. The MTA hopes to decide by March 31.

The Jets' proposal for the 75,000-seat, $1.7 billion stadium is backed by the city and state and is crucial to New York's attempt to host the Olympics. The team previously offered $100 million for the right to build the stadium.

The team's proposal surpasses a previous $600 million offer from Cablevision, which owns the Garden, and has engaged in a public feud over the property with the Jets. Cablevision has pledged to build 5,800 housing units, a five-acre park and a 750-room hotel on the site if it wins the bid.

A third remaining bidder, TransGas Energy Systems LLC, previously made the highest bid -- $700 million -- but the deal has several contingencies and would be the most complicated.

The bidders, World Network International Services and Missak Financial, were disqualified because they did not have a $25,000 proposal deposit, among other reasons, MTA spokesman Tom Kelly said.

The MTA runs the country's largest mass transit system.

New York is vying with Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow for the 2012 Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will select the host July 6 in Singapore.

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