Plan must still pass Public Authorities Control Board

NEW YORK -- The Empire State Development Corp. board approved plans Tuesday for a 75,000-seat New York Jets stadium on Manhattan's far west side.

The board is controlled by Gov. George Pataki, a stadium supporter, so its approval was expected. The stadium must now be approved by the Public Authorities Control Board, another state panel, where passage is less assured.

"Today's action is another positive step in the New York Sports
and Convention Center project," said Charles Gargano, chairman of
the development corporation's board. "This is an economic
development project that will strongly enhance New York's ability
to attract conventions and conferences."

The board's action followed a public hearing and comment period
and initial adoption of the general project plan last November.

If it is built, the stadium will serve as a home for the Jets
and the 2012 Olympics, should the city win its bid to host the
Games. But the project has been controversial among neighborhood
residents and elected officials, and the cost has ballooned from
$1.4 billion to at least $1.9 billion since it was proposed last

Lawyers for Cablevision, which owns the nearby Madison Square
Garden and has filed a lawsuit to block the stadium, sent Gargano a
letter Monday urging the board not to take action on the plan.