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Schoenfeld Speaks Against Plan for New Jets Stadium logo
Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of the Shubert Organization, has joined a coalition of New Yorkers against the building of a new stadium for the Jets on Manhattan's West Side. Yesterday, Schoenfeld spoke out on the proposed $600 million project during a New York State Assembly hearing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Chelsea.

The hearing was attended by members of such disparate groups as ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, representing low and moderate-income families), the Madison Square Garden organization, the Queens Olympics Committee, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Hell's Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance, and Schoenfeld's panel-mate Richard Ravitch (former MTA chairman).

Schoenfeld submitted a statement on behalf of the Shuberts and also on behalf of Rocco Landesman, president of Jujamcyn Theaters, and Thomas C. Short, international president of IATSE. He enumerated the problems that the publicly financed combination convention center/sports stadium would create for the Broadway scene. "The traffic would be horrendous and yet there have been no provisions for parking, there's been no city planning," he complained. "If not for Broadway," he told the packed auditorium, "Times Square would never have been revitalized" -- yet no new theaters can be built without massive approvals and studies, if then. (Here, Schoenfeld cited a recent New York Times op-ed article against the stadium project.)

Both Schoenfeld and Ravitch spoke of piggy-backing the proposed stadium onto a bill to expand the Javits Center and the still uncertain expansion of the Seventh Avenue subway crosstown to 11th Avenue. Schoenfeld quoted the Jets' management as saying, "The Jets don't need the MTA; our patrons can walk over to the site."

In closing, Schoenfeld remarked, "There's no evidence that the stadium would in any way enhance the neighborhood with office buildings and the affordable housing that the Convention Center Development Corporation promises. All Madison Square Garden ever brought to Seventh and Eighth Avenues is a fast food mall."

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