Mr. Bloomberg said that a more secure location, like a military base, would be less disruptive and less costly. His remarks echoed growing opposition from Wall Street executives, the real estate industry and neighborhood groups, who have questioned the burdens that such a trial would bring to a heavily trafficked area of the city.
“It’s going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people,” Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference in Brooklyn. “My hope is that the attorney general and the president decide to change their mind.“
And while a gang of idiots have used the debate over the trial location as an excuse to display their cowardice (oh noes! al Qaeda might get publicity!) for all the world to see, Bloomberg's concerns seem a little more grounded in reality:
The Police Department has said that in preparation for the trial, the area around the courthouse would be flooded with uniformed police officers, in cars and on horseback, and surrounded by 2,000 interlocking metal barriers.
“I believe it would destroy the economy in Lower Manhattan,” said Steve Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, which represents property owners. He has urged the mayor’s office to speak out against holding the trial in the city.
The city estimated it would spend more than $200 million a year on security for the trial, making it one of the most expensive security operations it would ever take on.
City Hall aides said that the complex trial could drag on for years, eventually costing the city close to $1 billion in the middle of a deep recession, though most of that is expected to be shouldered by the federal government.
$200 million a year on security is an absurd amount of money (and presumably that figure doesn't include the economic impact of closing down the streets). I find it hard to believe things can't be scaled down to a more manageable level, but if they truly can't then yes, let the Feds find a better spot for the trial.
The important thing is to have it, not the venue in which it takes place.