'We have let down America'
Mike: N.Y. lost quest for Oly grail
Declaring "We have let down America," Mayor Bloomberg left little hope yesterday that New York's crippled bid for the 2012 Olympics would survive - even as Olympics backers struggled to keep the dream alive.
"Other American cities wanted to have the privilege of competing at the world level," Bloomberg said. "New York won because people had confidence that New York would be able to do things, and it turned out that we, unfortunately, are not able to do things."
On Monday, the Public Authorities Control Board - an obscure panel controlled by Gov. Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno - rejected the proposed $1.9 billion West Side stadium, a focal point in the city's Olympic bid and the proposed new home for the Jets.
Officials with NYC2012, the city's bid committee, spent the day exploring how the Olympic bid could be salvaged - trying to avoid the humiliating prospect of withdrawing the bid.
"We are reviewing the situation, consulting our key participants, including the [U.S. Olympic Committee] and hearing from many - especially the Olympians, who are shocked and outraged by the actions of Albany's legislative leaders," Jay Kriegel, the bid's executive director, said.
Four gold medalists - Bob Beamon, Donna de Varona, Jeff Blatnick and Diane Dixon - called on Albany to "reverse their disastrous decision that is crippling our Olympic dream."
"We cannot understand how local politics are killing America's Olympic bid," the Olympians said in a statement.
Three sources said the Jets are contemplating a move that would bypass the state panel. Under this scenario, the Jets would forgo $300 million in state funding, eliminate a costly movable roof from the project's plan and seek a zoning change for the West Side property from the City Council.
Pursuing such a zoning change could take up to a year - and that's not something Bloomberg is considering, a City Hall aide said.
Bloomberg said yesterday he is deeply committed to lower Manhattan but doesn't believe the city has to give up on redeveloping the West Side.
"I'm sorry for those who think lower Manhattan is the only thing. It is a very important thing, but it's not the only thing," Bloomberg said.
Silver countered, "If he really cared about it we wouldn't be four years since Sept. 11 and have nothing."
Silver added that he would not agree to a compromise deal that would give the West Side stadium approval on the condition that the city wins the Games.
"How can I now say but if we get the Olympics, forget about our commitment to downtown, forget about our commitment to the thousands of people who died at Ground Zero," Silver told the Daily News.
"Tell the mayor I'm still sticking to what I said yesterday. It hasn't changed today, and it's not going to change next week," he said.
If New York loses the Games, Bloomberg should blame himself, charged Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields, a mayoral hopeful.
"If anyone is at fault it is Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff because of the refusal to listen and to work with the community, civic, district and elected leaders in this borough and this city," she said.
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