Cablevision Loses Stadium Bid

Cablevision Systems Corp. lost its bid to stop the National Football League's New York Jets from building a football stadium on Manhattan’s West Side, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted unanimously Thursday to accept a $720 million bid from the Jets, an MTA spokeswoman said.

Cablevision had submitted a $760 million bid to build a mixed use residential complex on the site. The company also spent tens of millions of dollars on an ad campaign that criticized the proposal for the stadium, which threatens to drain revenue from Cablevision’s Madison Square Garden unit.

MSG responded to news of the MTA accepting the Jets bid by noting that its offer contained more cash.

“It is obvious that the [New York Mayor Michael] Bloomberg fix was in. It’s no wonder that the MTA is in financial crisis when its own board declares that $210 million is worth more than $400 million in cash,” MSG said in a prepared statement. “Today’s decision will only serve to galvanize the two-thirds of New Yorkers who are bitterly opposed to spending more than $1 billion in taxpayer money for a football stadium that they do not want.”

The stadium proposal still must win acceptance from the New York Public Authorities Control Board and the Empire State Development Corporation.

The National Football League said it will host the 2010 Super Bowl in New York, if the stadium wins approval. Bloomberg, who sparred publicly with Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan over the stadium proposal, also hopes the stadium will help New York City win selection as the host site for the 2012 Summer Olympics.