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MTA's decision on sale will come Thursday

The New York Jets were outbid by Cablevision in their attempt to buy the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's rail yards and build a stadium on Manhattan's West Side.

The MTA released documents Monday detailing the bids by three
groups. A bid by Cablevision of $760 million includes $400 million
in cash up front and the rest in a promise to construct a platform
over the rail yards.

The Jets countered with a bid of $720 million, including at
least $250 million in cash paid over four years. The bid does not
include the platform, estimated by the Jets at $350 million, which
would be paid for primarily by the state and city.

TransGas Energy Systems offered the most for the site, $1.05
billion. But the energy company's bid has strings attached,
including a proposed 40-year contract to provide energy for the
MTA, and help in securing a site for a new power plant in Brooklyn.

Five bids were submitted to the MTA by last week's deadline, but
two were immediately disqualified because they didn't meet bidding
rules.

A decision by the MTA, which runs the nation's largest mass
transit system, is expected Thursday.

Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden, promises a 5-acre
park and waterfront esplanade, 5,800 units of new housing, a hotel,
a performing arts enclave, a public elementary school and a
library. The Garden is just three blocks from the West Side rail
yards.

The Jets' proposal includes illustrations of its plan to build a
$1.7 billion football stadium, which also is key to the city's bid
for the 2012 Olympics.

The bid was accompanied by letters of endorsement from the
city's Olympic bid committee, its tourism marketing group and the
National Football League. As a sweetener to the Jets' bid, NFL
owners recently awarded the 2010 Super Bowl to New York -- provided
the stadium is built.