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June 25, 2008

A Stadium Story: eerie echoes, curious contrasts, and cautionary lessons for AY

Atlantic Yards Report

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Remember the battle over the West Side Stadium, that 15-month donnybrook, from March 2004 through June 2005, that dominated the city’s discourse over sports facilities, leaving scant attention for the Atlantic Yards and baseball stadium controversies?

The documentary A Stadium Story, screened in 2006 but not yet in wide release, offers some eerie echoes, curious contrasts, and cautionary lessons for Atlantic Yards watchers. (The film is well worth watching; for now, it’s available for $25 from the official web site, but it should be distributed soon, according to the filmmakers.)
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[S]tadium opponents had a wealthy patron, Cablevision (owners of Madison Square Garden), to amplify their criticisms. Thus what on one level seemed liked a David-and-Goliath story was, at least from the perspective of lobbying expenditures, much more of a fair fight.

If Atlantic Yards opponents had had such a megaphone, the public debate, if not the result, would have been different. Even so, the protracted Atlantic Yards battle--already three times longer than the West Side Stadium fight--suggests that the issues raised and the opponents' effort deserve to be taken seriously.

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Posted by lumi at June 25, 2008 5:38 AM