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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Stadium has opponents downtown

I read somewhere recently, probably in the Times, that Pataki is identifying himself with the WTC site reconstruction and Bloomberg is attaching his hopes to the West Side development project centered around the stadium. It's interesting because you wouldn't necessarily think the two would have anything to do with each other, but in fact there are a few worthwhile arguments to be made about how Lower Manhattan (and other NYC neighborhoods in general) would suffer as a result of the new stadium.

I don't actually need any convincing, I'm already opposed to the idea. I lived up there on 34th and 10th and I know how bleak that area is, but I don't buy the argument that the stadium will help the neighborhood. The presence of the Javitz center hasn't given that area a boost. Tons of people hike out there for huge conventions and shows like the annual car show. They go to the center, then they leave. They don't enrich the neighborhood.

Look at the Madison Square Garden neighborhood. Has that been helped by the presence of the Garden?

Ever been out to the Meadowlands? Is there a thriving economy based around that?

I even lived next to the Nassau Colliseum (it must be a tribute to my quest for cheap housing that I've lived next to all of these major arenas) and that is also a no-man's land. People go to those arenas, then they leave. And they trash the place on their way out by the way.

Meanwhile, look at how the West Side is doing already on its own. Chelsea with all those new galleries out west, even expanding up into the high 20's with all those clubs. Look at how even the smelly-ass meatpacking district is improving. Look at how Hell's Kitchen is coming together with all that new housing over there.

So what help will a stadium provide? Extra peanut vendor jobs? I know, the Jets pay some kind of fee and that makes it worth it. I don't buy it.

Wow, that's more than I expected to say about that.

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