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State okays $600M plan for new Shea Stadium

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Early designs show the open-air stadium with seven levels holding 42,500 seats, standing room for about 1,600 fans, 50 to 60 studio suites, 8,800 parking spaces and about 1.26 million square feet of space, including concession stands, retail stores, a corporate business center, media space, concourses, restaurants and players' facilities.Funding for the project will come from both the city and the state as well as a significant portion from the New York Mets, who will be responsible for the construction of the new baseball stadium and its related improvements.Total project costs round out at around $600 million with the stadium itself costing $444.4 million. The Empire State Development Corp. will contribute about $70 million in assistance for the project infrastructure.The designs for the new Shea were approved in conjunction with the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, which will follow the same construction schedule."The state and the city are making an economic development investment that not only will assist with the development of new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets, but will result in significant infrastructure improvements for the surrounding communities," said Empire State Development Chairman Charles Gargano. "This smart investment will create thousands of temporary and permanent jobs and yield hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue in the coming years."As part of the deal, the Mets will enter into a non-relocation agreement that will prohibit the team from moving to another city for the next 35 years.Officials said they expect the project to generate about 3,532 construction jobs, 453 new permanent jobs, $76.8 million in revenue for the city and $86 million for the state."We are pleased with the Empire State Development Corporation's approval of our new ballpark development plans, which will be the linchpin of the revitalization of the area surrounding current Shea Stadium," said Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets. "We remain committed to our ongoing dialogue with borough, city and state officials to build our new, privately financed ballpark within the property lines of our current facility. We are confident the ballpark will be an entertainment destination and attraction of which Queens and all of New York City and New York State will be proud."Officials said they were seeking a to establish a public comment period to present the plans before final approval.Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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