With no traffic, it only takes minutes to get from Manhattan to Giants Stadium. Especially if you fly. That's apparently the method Mayor Bloomberg planned for last night's U2 concert, until a foul-up recalibrated the plans.
The mayor's helicopter took a trial run about 7pm, according to Dennis Robinson, president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The chopper pilot had permission to land at the Helipad near Berry's Creek, a remote section away from parking lots.
However, instead of landing there, the chopper somehow picked the Shuttle Bus loading Zone-- Lot H-- much closer to the stadium. State Police confirm the helicopter was told to leave.
And Robinson, the venue chief, said permission to use the helipad was then revoked.
The Mayor's office said that Bloomberg had a late event in Washington Heights, and that he'd planned to take a helicopter to make it to the concert on time. City officials say this particular pilot had never flown that exact route before, so he decided to do a trial run before actually transporting the Mayor.
Once a return flight was prohibited, the mayor traveled by car.
"Like about 80,000 other people, the Mayor is at the U2 concert tonight, but he did not fly to the stadium," said Mayoral Spokesman Stu Loeser.
It's a good thing the mayor showed up, U2 frontman Bono gave the mayor a shout-out, which his campaign promptly posted online.
"There's somebody here tonight who means a great deal to us and everyone across the river," Bono said. "You know him because he runs New York City -- and does a fantastic job. I know him because he is a fellow combatant in the fight against extreme poverty and disease. Using his enormous wallet to research new treatment for malaria and stuff. He makes me very proud. He also makes me laugh out loud... Give it up for Mayor Bloomberg."
Authorities at the Sports and Exposition Authority say there will likely be a follow-up investigation-- since the attempted landing of a helicopter near a crowded concert venue is "a cause for concern."