"If There’s Anything Queens Has a Lot Of, It’s Common Parts"

Sometimes I wonder if the people who make decisions in sports actually ever watch the sports they’re involved with, or ever go to a game. I mean, did Woody Johnson ever drive himself to Jets game, try to find parking, and then sit in traffic on the way out? He can’t possibly have? How do I know that? Because if he had, there’s NO WAY he’s pushing so hard for a new stadium over the West Side Rail Yards.

This Stadium (not to mention the 2012 Olympics) would be an infrastructure nightmare. There’s no parking anywhere. The feeder roads could not handle the swarm of cars, and there’s limited public transportation. How will 70,000 people get to the game on Sundays? And where the hell will they put their cars?

Which is to say nothing of the traffic nightmare that will have reverberating effects throughout the city when this fiasco is being built. How did this decision get made?
Jets’ Rep: “Right at the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel, let’s put huge construction equipment and block roads.”
City Rep: “What about commuters to midtown from Jersey?”
Jets’ Rep: “Uh, I don’t know. Screw Jersey?”
City Rep: “Yeah, that’s fine. Screw Jersey.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think the Jets deserve their own Stadium. And if New York wants to have their City on the Jets’ name, then they can provide the place to play. I have no problem using city funds to assist in the building (as long as it’s reasonable. If cities never paid for new arenas and stadiums, they would never get built, and they wouldn’t be as good when they ever did get built. If a fan wants a top notch viewing experience, we need new stadiums every once in a while). But this decision has GOT to be reasonable. So what should the Jets do?

A quick aside for background and context: I am a Yankee fan. Huge. However, I am also a huge baseball fan, and will watch any game, especially in person. So, during the Summer of ’98, I went to a ton of ballgames, usually with my friend, Adam. When the Yankees were in town, we went to Yankee games. When the Mets were home, we went to Met Games. And we came to a consensus. The seating at the upper level is better at Yankee Stadium, because it’s built straight up, instead of up and out like at Shea. However, the fact that Shea is built at the intersection of 3 major highways (Van Wyck, Whitestone and Grand Central) and a major street thoroughfare (Northern Blvd.), which makes getting to and from a game easy. A pleasure. It never took more than 3 minutes to get out of the parking lot and onto the highway. Even when there was a big crowd. And because it’s in Flushing Meadow Park, there’s ample parking day or night, people shouting “howdy, neighbor!” Which makes all the experiences supplemental to the actual game so much better at Shea.

Back to W-W-Woody and Jets. The Mets, who also desperately need a new stadium, have proposed a double use, joint Stadium that would share certain infrastructure (TV Studios, etc.) but would have separate fields for football and baseball. This is brilliant. It’s Utilitarian, and would be great for Mets and Jets fans. So here’s what we hope for (which I think may actually happen). The IOC awards the 2012 Olympics to Paris (right now, the strong frontrunner) after being unimpressed by NY, and not trusting that it can get the Stadium it needs. The New York state legislature, with no Olympics to build a major stadium for, denies funding to Jets Stadium (thank G-d), and the MTA sells it to some real estate developer (hopefully, a client of mine, so I can make some $$$ on this deal), and he builds apartments and office buildings, to revive the Hudson Yards area of Manhattan. Or maybe a topflight Convention Center, with hotels, but no stadium. And the Jets take the Mets’ offer. And do the smart thing.

In a future post, I’ll explain my opinions about why the 2012 Olympics would be a bad, bad thing for New York.

(Today’s References: Coming to America; South Park; Elton John)

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4 responses to “"If There’s Anything Queens Has a Lot Of, It’s Common Parts"

  1. 1. Good points
    2. Great references
    3. yeah, screw Jersey!

  2. Coming to America is on right now!

    Sexual Chocolate!!!

    I agree with you from a fan’s perspective about the stadium. I, too, would prefer Queens over Midtown. However, from the city’s standpoint, I support the West Side stadium.

  3. I agree with many of your points.

    I don’t want any part of an olympic games in New York, nor am I interested in the traffic nightmares and deficit that comes with it.

    I don’t want a West Side Stadium. The proponents keep talking about the fact that the expansion of the Javits Center will be a revenue boon to the city. Fine. Build a wonderful convention center. Who needs a stadium there?

    I also think the Jets should build a stadium in Flushing. Let’s add the fact that Flushing is a lot closer to their home fan base of Long Island than is Manhattan. Plus the fact that by the time it is built, I will probably no longer be living in Forest Hills, and would therefore not have to worry about Sunday afternoon Jets traffic. (Beware Sunday 4:00 weddings in Terrace on the Park during football season – the next Sheraton Meadowlands).

    Totally agree about the viewing experience from the rear rows within a given level at Yankee vs. Shea stadium. Building straight up is definitely the way to go. See also: watching from the upper levels in Continental Airlines Arena (I would mention the Colliseum, but it’s got other issues) vs. in MSG. (FYI: for those who haven’t been there, Giants Stadium is also constructed very well in this regard).

    Oh, and one more thing. Noam: Prime Grill on me if you send that real estate developer my way for the insurance on the west side project.

    I lied – one more thing, Take Two: How is it that EDS is always the first to post a comment? Do you have some sort of post-alert thing going on? Will you ever be bumped from the Pole Position (“Prepare to Qualify”)?

  4. I like you…

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