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N.Y. state board approves Jets stadium

NEW YORK (April 12, 2005) -- The Empire State Development Corp. board approved plans for a 75,000-seat New York Jets stadium on Manhattan's far west side.

The board is controlled by Gov. George Pataki, a stadium supporter, so its approval was expected. The stadium must now be approved by the Public Authorities Control Board, another state panel, where passage is less assured.

"Today's action is another positive step in the New York Sports and Convention Center project," said Charles Gargano, chairman of the development corporation's board. "This is an economic development project that will strongly enhance New York's ability to attract conventions and conferences."

The board's action followed a public hearing and comment period and initial adoption of the general project plan last November.

If it is built, the stadium will serve as a home for the Jets and the 2012 Olympics, should the city win its bid to host the Games. But the project has been controversial among neighborhood residents and elected officials, and the cost has ballooned from $1.4 billion to at least $1.9 billion since it was proposed last year.

Lawyers for Cablevision, which owns the nearby Madison Square Garden and has filed a lawsuit to block the stadium, sent Gargano a letter April 11 urging the board not to take action on the plan.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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