The proposed West Side stadium initiative seems doomed, and ESPN’s Darren Rovell will shed no tears.
Democracy is alive and well in the city of New York. No matter how much Mayor Bloomberg and deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff want the Olympics, I believe many people in New York want the city and state to devote funds elsewhere, especially after Sept. 11, 2001.
To be honest, I really wasn’t on either side of this debate until I heard the radio commercial paid for by the New York Jets and voiced by former Jets great Joe Namath. In the ad, Namath makes some irrational statements including that the stadium would “generate millions of dollars in new annual revenue to help pay for more teachers, cops and firefighters.”
Really Joe? Would it generate more than the $300 million that you are taking away from the state to build the stadium?
The commercial concludes: “You know, there’s only one way winning the Super Bowl could have been better. If we had won at home in New York City. Well, with your help, we’re going to play a Super Bowl right where it belongs, in the greatest city on earth.”
(having asked to be put through to Suzy Kolber, Joe is very surprised to hear Pat O’Brien pick up the line.)
First of all, let’s dissect the first two sentences. No team in the 39-year history of the Super Bowl has ever won the championship in its own stadium so Namath is pining for something that has never happened. And who knows if the Jets will be in a position to make the Super Bowl in 2010, the year New York would host the game if this stadium is ever built. That is all a smokescreen.
Now let’s look at the words “with your help.” Actually, no help from the public was needed to approve this use of their tax dollars. There was no referendum. All they needed was for Silver, state senate majority leader Joseph Bruno and Gov. George Pataki to say “yes” and the money would be earmarked towards construction on the stadium.