New York bid damaged by row over stadium site

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The Independent Online

New York's bid to stage the Olympic Games in 2012 was in disarray yesterday over disputed plans for a main stadium in Manhattan.

New York's bid to stage the Olympic Games in 2012 was in disarray yesterday over disputed plans for a main stadium in Manhattan.

Proposals for the 75,000-capacity venue on a railyard in West Manhattan are now in serious doubt, causing a major embarrassment for bid leaders as they showed inspectors from the International Olympic Committee around the city yesterday.

The New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, said it was "an outrage" that the site, which would also have provided a home for the New York Jets American football team, was now effectively up for auction.

The owners of Madison Square Garden have tabled a bid of £335m - far above what the site's owners, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, had agreed with the Jets and the bid company, New York 2012.

Meanwhile, leaders of Paris's bid for the Games insisted that a strike called by trades unions yesterday would not affect the IOC inspection next month.

The action is being taken in defence of the 35-hour week by four public sector unions but officials said its timing on 10 March, the second day of the inspection, was pure coincidence. "Unions agreed not to disrupt the IOC visit and bid organisers are working with them and the Paris police department to make sure everything is managed the best way," the Paris bid chief executive, Philippe Baudillon, said yesterday. The strike is expected to disrupt trains and possibly the Paris Metro, close schools and affect other public services.

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