Stadium defeat a blow for NYC bid

NEW YORK – New York’s Olympic bid officials did not wave the white flag in surrender, but they were downcast on Tuesday after the defeat of the city’s stadium plan dealt a possibly fatal blow to hopes of hosting the 2012 Games. The $2 million project to build a stadium on Manhattan’s West Side, considered crucial to the Olympic bid, failed to win the unanimous support needed from the state Public Authorities Control Board (PACB) in a vote late on Monday. «The PACB vote is deeply disappointing,» Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, founder of the bid committee, said in a statement. «In one confusing stroke yesterday afternoon, the PACB has apparently sought to disrupt all of this extraordinary effort.» The usually upbeat officials from NYC2012 were not available for comment after the devastating defeat, which came as two state legislative leaders refused to approve the plan that would provide $300 million in state funds for the project. «Dead Duck,» blared the front page of the New York Post, describing the stadium deal and the Olympic bid. «Spiked!» was the banner headline in New York Newsday. Opposition to the stadium plan by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was rooted in a concern that a large development project on the West Side would slow rebuilding plans for Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, the district he represents. Earlier on Monday, Doctoroff and Mayor Michael Bloomberg had been brimming with enthusiasm after the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation commission released a report that gave New York high marks aside from concern about the stadium. Doctoroff and Bloomberg said they thought approval of the Olympic stadium plan was the only hurdle keeping New York from joining Paris and London as front-runners to host the 2012 Olympics, an honor to be awarded in Singapore next month. «The IOC report has made crystal clear that we’re in a great position to win in Singapore on July 6, so long as the stadium is approved,» Doctoroff said. «You can’t have a glaring weakness in your most important venue and expect to triumph.» (Reuters)

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