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Last Updated: Friday, 25 February, 2005, 02:15 GMT
New York told to finalise stadium
IOC evaluation commission leader Nawal El Moutawakel
Commission leader Nawal El Moutawakel praised New York's bid
The International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission has highlighted the need for New York's 2012 bid team to resolve a row over the main stadium.

"We need a stadium - hopefully it will come to an agreement," said commission leader Nawal El Moutawakel as the four-day inspection of New York ended.

The bid team are yet to finalise a deal to purchase the site for the proposed $1.4 bn (730m) main stadium.

But mayor Michael Bloomberg is confident the stadium will be built.

"I said to them (the commission members): We believe this city and the state will come together and construct a facility on the West Side that will be a spectacular venue," he said.

A working Manhattan railyard is earmarked to become the location for the stadium but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority owns the site and has not yet decided who to sell it to.

The railyard owners will hold a hearing on 31 March to consider a growing field of rival bids offering more money for redevelopment projects.

New York bid founder and deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff admitted: "By the time the IOC votes, they have to be convinced we'll be able to deliver on our promise that we will have an Olympic stadium."

El Moutawakel said a stadium on the proposed site, not just any stadium, was crucial to New York's bid.

"Both are important," she said.

"The site shown to us, if they come to an agreement, is going to be a very important legacy to the city, to the athletes and to the Olympic movement."

She also praised the "enthusiasm, warmth and the strong support" of the bid.

The IOC's inspectors will now head to Paris and Moscow before producing a report on all five candidate cities for IOC members.

The host city will be decided on 6 July in Singapore.

New York received a boost on Wednesday when President George Bush threw his support behind the bid with a message to the IOC inspectors.

The IOC has no question we could deliver this budget
NYC2012 chief financial officer Steve Reynolds

Bush appeared in a video presentation on day three of their visit to make assurances about funding for security.

"The President's video was very warm, impressive and very well received," his representative Roland Betts said.

New York has drawn up a $3bn (1.57bn) budget for staging the Games in 2012.

A detailed $3bn (1.57bn) budget, featuring $1.47bn (0.77bn) in expenses and a $258m (136m) fund for cost overruns, was outlined to the evaluation commission.

"We wanted to be able to convince the IOC we could deliver this budget," said NYC2012 chief financial officer Steve Reynolds.

"They like to see conservative revenues. The IOC has no question we could deliver this budget."

New York's bid team also gave details of ticketing plans.

They expect to sell 9.4m of the 12m available tickets.

THE NEW YORK BID
Olympic X - most sports on two intersecting transport axes
Athletes' village on East River in Queens - all events to be staged within 32km
Olympic stadium in west Manhattan - floating warm-up track on Hudson River
Venues include Yankee Stadium, Giants Stadium and Flushing Meadows

Nearly 3m tickets would be priced at $13 (7) or less with more than 60% at $26 (14) or less and 87% at $52 (27) or less.

Later on Wednesday, the inspectors met Meryl Streep, Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg, and heard jazz legend Wynton Marsalis play at the Lincoln Center.

There was also a fireworks display, followed by dinner at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Upper East Side home.

Guests included Henry Kissinger, Matt Damon and Vera Wang, and Paul Simon performed a selection of his hit songs.

By the end of their stay, the IOC team will have heard presentations on each of the 17 key criteria laid down for hosting the Games.

They will publish their final report on the five cities by early June, and it will act as a guide for IOC members when they choose the host city in Singapore on 6 July.




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