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A Stadium Story: The Battle for New York's Last Frontier

World Premiere

USA | 85 MINUTES | English |


New Yorkers pride themselves on a fascination with their own city. And who among us wasn't gripped by the saga of the West Side Stadium? Everybody had an opinion on what it was really about: the Olympics, the New York Jets, the unions, the neighborhood, Mayor Bloomberg and his right-hand man Dan Doctoroff, Cablevision, money-or all of the above? With billions of taxpayer dollars and the future of a neighborhood at stake, the battle over the West Side Stadium consumed New York City for two years. In one corner were the New York Jets, who wanted to build a new home over the Hudson Rail Yards; the mayor, who wanted to catalyze the transformation of the far west side; and Deputy Mayor Doctoroff, who needed a marquee venue for the bid for the Summer Olympic Games in 2012. And in the other corner were the owners of Madison Square Garden; Cablevision, who didn't want a competitive venue blocks away; and the residents of Hell's Kitchen, who were struggling to preserve their neighborhood. Throw in the city's unions, who were fighting for the promise of new jobs after undergoing a post-September 11 construction slump, and you've got a thick stew of intrigue, accusation, and speculation. Jevon Roush and Benjamin Rosen's documentary chronicles the entire stadium project. We learn where the idea to build it began, who the players were and how they changed over time, what it was going to cost and how that changed over time, and ultimately the deal's demise. A Stadium Story is a juicy exploration of everything that went on in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.


Directed by Jevon Roush and Benjamin Rosen

Jevon Roush has worked in film since graduating from Brown University in 1998. His career has taken him around the world, with projects in Turkey, Italy, and Ireland. Clients have included The Institute of Nautical Archaeology, based in Bodrum, Turkey; Studio in a School, a nonprofit in New York City; and Ombre Electriche, an Italian subtitling company. In 2003, Roush made his feature debut as writer and director of Second Born. Born and raised in downtown Manhattan, Benjamin Rosen graduated from Oberlin College in 1998. Since then, he has worked as a camera assistant to cinematographer Mark Benjamin (Slam, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, White Boys, The Last Party), and assisted in preproduction on Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Rosen just finished shooting his first feature-length film, The Keeper, which delves into the lives of Brooklyn's last pigeon fanciers. He is currently working as an associate producer on a Mana Rabiee documentary, which is being shot in Iran and documents the lives of the Basij, a militant Islamic youth group.