Cablevision ad plays stadium mind Games
Cablevision has launched a new TV ad campaign trying to convince New Yorkers that the proposed West Side stadium is solely a "football stadium, not an Olympic stadium."
In the new commercial, obtained by the Daily News, a male voice intones, "Don't let them twist the truth," referring to the supporters of the proposed $1.9 billion project.
"No matter what they say, no matter how hard they push to spend more than a billion tax dollars, it's a football stadium, not an Olympic stadium. That's the truth. Say no to a West Side stadium."
The proposed stadium, which would be the new home of the Jets and a part of the city's expanded Javits Convention Center, is the centerpiece of New York's bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Cablevision, the owner of nearby Madison Square Garden and the chief opponent of the stadium, has spent roughly $30 million in an aggressive campaign to scuttle the project. The new ad is one of two that the company recently launched.
Jets Vice President Matt Higgins dismissed the commercial as hogwash.
"As the entire country rallies around our Olympic bid, Cablevision lingers as an embarrassing footnote, willing to say and do anything to protect its monopoly," Higgins said.
According to the city's official bid, the stadium would be the site of the opening and closing ceremonies and the track and field events.
The stadium would initially be built to accommodate the Jets and the convention center, with a planned opening in 2009. It would then be modified to the specifications of an Olympic stadium, a process that requires additional environmental review and government approvals.
"The stadium the mayor wants approved isn't even large enough to host the Olympics," said Anna Levin, a member of a Cablevision-backed group opposing the project. "The proposal in Albany right now is for a football stadium, not an Olympic stadium."
Levin accused Mayor Bloomberg of "trying to use the Olympics as a wedge to force approval."
On his weekly radio show Friday, Bloomberg said the stockholders of Cablevision "ought to be up in arms and picketing."
"They have spent $30 million of their money to stop a project that wouldn't take business away," Bloomberg contended.
And Bloomberg reiterated that the city will jeopardize its chance of winning the Games if the stadium isn't approved quickly. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to select the host city on July 6.
A state panel is expected to vote on the stadium this week.
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