FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND NEW YORK METS ANNOUNCE NEW PLANS FOR OLYMPIC STADIUM AS PART OF CITY'S BID FOR 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the New York Mets have agreed to privately-finance a new Shea Stadium and allow NYC2012, the City and the State to use their new facility should New York City be designated as Host City for the 2012 Olympic Games. Under the revised plan, the new Shea Stadium will be converted into a state-of-the-art, 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium in the Olympic Park Cluster, and consistent with Olympic requirements, a warm-up track and throwing field, will be located immediately adjacent to the Olympic Stadium. In addition, under the modified plans, the Main Press and International Broadcast Centers will be located across the street from the Stadium in new structures to be built in Willets Point as part of the City's development plans for the area. On Monday, NYC2012 will make a formal request to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board to allow New York City to modify its bid.
"Over the last few days, working together, we have found common ground and we did it because we all have a common goal: bringing the Olympics to New York City in 2012," said Mayor Bloomberg. "In a show of unprecedented good corporate citizenship, the New York Mets have agreed to allow NYC2012, the City and the State to use their new Stadium should New York City be designated as Host City for the 2012 Olympic Games. Having the Olympic Stadium next to where Shea Stadium stands today is consistent with our plans for the development of Willets Point, for which we have received a stunning level of enthusiasm from leading developers through a just completed Request for Expressions of Interest process. And regardless of whether or not we are chosen, we will continue our efforts to develop the area."
"I, along with the members of the Assembly's Queens delegation, wholeheartedly support this Mets Stadium project, which will not only keep alive New York City's 2012 Olympic dream, but will also provide significant, long-term benefits to the entire metropolitan area," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "This new stadium will ensure that America's national pastime has a spectacular and modern home in Queens that will be enjoyed by generations of baseball fans."
"We are delighted to join in today's announcement and help solidify our City's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games," said New York Mets Chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon. "Speaking on behalf of Saul Katz and Jeff Wilpon, we are extremely pleased that a privately-financed stadium in Queens can provide both a first-class Olympic venue as well as a new home for the Mets and their fans. We have worked towards a new stadium for nearly a decade and it is gratifying that our past efforts have allowed us to respond quickly to the Mayor and Governor's request to partner with the City and State on this important public-private initiative."
"On behalf of over 2,000 Olympians and Paralympians supporting New York's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, we are overjoyed by today's announcement," said Olympian Howard Lindsay (Athletics: 1984, 1988, 1996) from Antigua and Barbuda. "Like a great athlete who never gives up, New York is now sprinting towards the finish line. With the greatest fans in the world, there is no doubt New York would put on a tremendous Games."
As part of today's announcement, the Mets will build a new stadium, which they will pay for privately, to be opened in time for the 2009 baseball season. The new facility will be in the parking lot of where the current Shea Stadium is. The City and State would fund infrastructure and site preparation, $85 million for the City and a proposed $75 million for the State. The City also agrees to extend the Mets $5 million year stadium planning credit through the 2008 season. Both of these appropriations would have to go through the normal budget processes of the City and State.
If New York City wins the Olympics, the Mets will convert their new home into an Olympic Stadium at the end of the 2011 baseball season. This would cost approximately $250 million, including compensating the Mets for not playing in their stadium for a year. $142 million will be paid through funds that NYC2012 have available. The remainder will be funded by the City and the State, as agreed to by the Assembly Speaker Silver, Senate Majority Leader Bruno and Governor Pataki. If New York City wins the Olympics, the Mets will have to find a temporary home for the 2012 season, and possibly use Yankee Stadium. The Mets will return to their new stadium for the 2013 season, after it has been converted back to a baseball configuration.
The revised plan includes a modern, state-of-the-art 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium in the Olympic Park Cluster, and consistent with Olympic requirements, a warm-up track and throwing field, which will be located immediately adjacent to the Olympic Stadium. The Stadium would serve as the site for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Athletics (Track & Field), and the Football (Soccer) finals. The Olympic Park cluster was visited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s Evaluation Commission in February, where they viewed venue plans for hosting water polo, rowing, canoe/kayak, archery, and tennis. The Olympic Stadium will be 16 minutes from the Olympic Village, 24 minutes from the Main Hotel Area, and is served extensively by existing highways and mass transit. The Olympic Stadium's location is consistent with the security and transport plans detailed in NYC2012's Candidature File and presented to the Commission. Under the modified plans, the Main Press and International Broadcast Centers will be located across the street from the Stadium in new structures to be built in Willets Point, as part of the City's development plans for Willets Point. Over the next week, the City will announce the finalists for developing Willets Point.
Construction of the new Mets Stadium will begin next year on a site that is already owned by the City of New York. An environmental impact statement for the construction of the permanent stadium was completed in December of 2001. NYC2012 will present detailed plans for the Olympic Stadium and other facilities to the IOC, the IAAF and FIFA prior to July 6th to secure their approval for the venues and ensure that they meet the highest Olympic standards.
New York City is competing with four other Candidate Cities for the right to host the 2012 Games: London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris. The Host City will be selected on July 6th in Singapore. An Olympic Games in New York would leave a powerful legacy of creating new world-class venues, training centers for elite athletes and renovated fields for youth that will restore New York's connection to Olympic sports. Additionally, the Games would spur the largest single investment in parks, sports and recreational facilities in the City's history and bring a regional economic impact of over $12 billion and create over 135,000 jobs. For more information about the City's bid, visit NYC2012's official website at www.nyc2012.com.
"What is clear is that New Yorkers have come together. They have come together not to do what is in their interests, but what is in the City's interest. They have come together for New York and this show of unity for a common goal is a wonderful message to send to the Olympic community. The same spirit that inspired leading New Yorkers in a last-minute and ultimately successful effort to become the home of the United Nations in 1946 inspires us today. You can never count New Yorkers out. If the IOC wants a City with heart, a City that can overcome its differences, that can pull together during trying times and will do everything possible to host a great Games, we are the City for them," concluded Mayor Bloomberg.
Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Laz Benitez (NYC2012)
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