June 14, 2005
Tentative site plan for Olympic/
Mets stadium in Queens.
Image courtesy NYC 2012
New York Citys Olympic bid isnt
dead after all.
The citys chances to lure the
games appeared bleak after its proposed stadium on the Far
West Side of Manhattan was turned down last Tuesday by New
York States Public Authorities Control Board. But yesterday
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the New York Mets principal
owner Fred Wilpon announced a plan to build a new stadium
for the Mets in Flushing, Queens, which could be converted
into an Olympic-size arena should New York win the games.
The stadium, to open in 2009, would
replace the Mets Shea Stadium, and hold 45,000 fans
for baseball. It would be converted into an 80,000-seat stadium
for the Olympics after the 2011 baseball season. The Mets
would likely play at Yankees Stadium or an alternative site
It wasnt our first choice,
but its an awful good alternative, the mayor said
at the City Hall press conference. New Yorkers arent
quitters. We just dont walk away from our future.
Wilpon told mlb.com, the official web
site of Major League Baseball, that the Mets new stadium
would look similar to Ebbets Field, the longtime home of the
Brooklyn Dodgers. A plan for such a stadium, with a brick
and limestone façade and exposed steel girders, was
first proposed by the Mets in 1998. The cost of the stadium,
Wilpon said, would likely be around $600 million, and would
be paid for by the Mets. Construction will begin next year,
regardless of whether the city wins its Olympic bid.
The city and state will provide $180
million in aid to upgrade supporting infrastructure, and about
$100 million to make the stadium Olympic-ready if the city
is chosen to host the games. NYC2012, the committee organized
to bring the Olympics to New York, will contribute $142 million
toward this cost. The 35,000-seat addition required for the
games would be removed after the games conclusion.
The Mets would also be compensated for
not playing at its home in 2012. Unlike the Far West Side
stadium, there appears to be little political opposition to
the Queens stadium plan. It would also include press and broadcast
centers, to be built across from the stadium in Willets Point,
as part of the citys development plans for that area.
New York is competing with London, Paris,
Madrid, and Moscow to host the 2012 games. The host city will
be chosen on July 6 in Singapore.