FAA: Stadium a Hazard

Old Nov 18, 01, 6:26 am
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FAA: Stadium a Hazard

The Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday declared the Arizona Cardinals' proposed Tempe stadium a hazard to aircraft and pilots using Sky Harbor International Airport, closing a volatile nine-month chapter in the football team's troubled odyssey to find a permanent home.

Although the long-awaited FAA decision carries no legal authority to block construction of the voter-approved $334 million project, the state Tourism and Sports Authority is expected to withdraw the Tempe site and select a new location by year's end.

Tempe likely will seek a formal review of the ruling as a matter of principle, Mayor Neil Giuliano said Saturday, but the city also will look for alternative sites in an effort to keep the Cardinals and the Fiesta Bowl, the stadium's two key tenants.

Phoenix officials hailed the decision, but Mayor Skip Rimsza said he was disappointed that the sports authority fought the FAA for so long. He dismissed Giuliano's claims that Phoenix used its position as the airport's owner to unfairly influence the FAA review.

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