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New Stadium Is Gold For Olympic Hopes – QNS.com

New Stadium Is Gold For Olympic Hopes

On July 6, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would announce its decision in naming the host city for the 2012 Summer Games.
And with the recent rejection of the proposed West Side stadium, Queens has taken center stage as plans were announced for a proposed new venue at Shea Stadium.
According to NYC2012 spokesman Laz Benitez, the new venue and Olympic expansion would be built in the parking lot of the existing Shea Stadium. Shea Stadium itself would be torn down to accommodate parking spaces.
Contingent on being selected as the host city for the 2012 Games, the $142.5 million augmentation project would be underwritten by $50 million allocations each from both the city and state. The remaining $42.5 million would be paid for by the New York Mets organization. Total cost for the new stadium would be $760 million, of which $160 million would come from both the city and state.
The brand new facility, with a brick and limestone facade reminiscent of Ebbets Field, would be built for baseball but reconfigured for Olympic events.
It would have 80,000 seats and a world-class track facility that would include a 400-meter track.
“The stadium would be specially refitted for the Olympics to allow for more seats,” Benitez told The Queens Courier in an interview.
He also went on to say that the Olympic Games, a purely mass-transit event, would not utilize any on-site parking. “No parking would be used for our needs,” said Benitez.
The new stadium would play host to the widely-watched opening and closing ceremonies and would host track and field events including hurdles, discus, javelin, etc. and men’s soccer.
Although the stadium expansion would be temporary, according to NYC2012 officials, it would feel permanent and would include many amenities. There would be an Olympic Plaza around the main entrance and a northeast tower to house the Olympic flame.
At the culmination of the Games, the temporary stands would be removed and some would be used for a 25,000-seat track and field facility at Randall’s Island.
The new Mets stadium would be open by 2009. The finishing touches on the reconfiguration would be made in 2010 or 2011, according to Benitez. During the 2012 Olympic Games, the Mets would play at Yankee Stadium.
“This shows the wonderful spirit of cooperation between New York City, the New York Mets, New York Yankees and NYC2012,” said Benitez. “They are coming together to make this a reality.”
toni@queenscourier.com

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