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Thread: Giants Stadium

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    March 11, 2005

    With the Giants Mentioning Manhattan, New Jersey Takes Stadium Dispute to Court

    By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI


    TRENTON, March 10 - With the New York Giants dangling the possibility of leaving New Jersey for the proposed West Side stadium in Manhattan, state officials went to court on Thursday to show that they will not allow the team to break its lease in the Meadowlands, which runs through 2026.


    New Jersey officials and the Giants have negotiated for five months over a plan that would release team owners from the current lease and allow them to build and operate a $700 million stadium on the Meadowlands site. The two sides appeared to be near an agreement on Wednesday, but a team owner, Wellington Mara, said that two last-minute concessions sought by the state had undermined the deal and persuaded the Giants to consider leaving New Jersey altogether.


    Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey tried to ratchet down the rhetoric Thursday morning, saying he hoped the two sides could still strike an agreement that would enable the team to build its stadium and remain in New Jersey. By midday, however, lawyers for the state filed papers in Bergen County Superior Court, saying the Giants' proposal for the new stadium was "onerous and unfair" to taxpayers and asking a judge to clarify the extent of improvements necessary to make the Giants' current stadium state of the art, as the lease requires.


    Giants officials have said that to meet that standard, the state must make $300 million in improvements to build luxury boxes, club seats and other amenities. State officials say less than $100 million in renovations will be required. In its filing, the state asked the judge to clarify the meaning of "state of the art" and asserted that the team and the National Football League should pick up part of the cost of any renovations.


    Coming at a time when the Jets are discussing a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, it was unclear whether the breakdown in the talks was a sign of insurmountable differences or negotiating brinkmanship. Asked about the prospect of the Giants making their home at the proposed stadium in Manhattan, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Thursday that he considered the team's interest another sign of the project's merit. But he stopped short of saying he considered the move likely.


    "The public's interest, all of the sudden since the story was floated, shows you just how sports fans react - they would like to see lots of teams here," Mr. Bloomberg said. "But let's see how that plays out."


    Joe Shenker, a lawyer for the Giants, said the team's owners would rather remain in New Jersey. But Mr. Shenker said the owners were shocked when, during the final hours of the negotiations, state officials refused to guarantee that there would be no special taxes imposed on stadium revenues in the future. The state also insisted that the team give its immediate approval to the Xanadu entertainment and retail complex to be built near the stadium. Giants officials worry that traffic from the complex might interfere with stadium traffic on game days, and in previous negotiations with the state had been promised a 30-day window during which to reach a separate agreement with the Xanadu owners.


    Mr. Shenker said the team would now weigh all options.


    Mr. Shenker declined to discuss the state's court action, saying he had not had time to study the legal papers.


    The negotiations come at an important time for Mr. Codey, who has had to propose a harsh series of program cuts and tax increases to cope with a projected budget deficit.


    In the State Legislature, some lawmakers are leery about the state cutting deals that will benefit wealthy sports team owners at a time when Mr. Codey has proposed eliminating popular property tax rebates.


    Even at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, some board members said they believed that the current proposal benefits the Giants at the expense of taxpayers. The Giants would cover the cost of demolishing the existing Giants Stadium and building the new one, and the new stadium would relieve the state of the expense of renovating the existing stadium. But the state would agree to spend $30 million to extend sewer lines and make other infrastructure improvements.


    And state records show that the $6.3 million rent the Giants would pay for the land beneath the new facility is $10 million less than New Jersey now receives annually from the operation of Giants Stadium.


    Copyright 2005*The New York Times Company

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    Jets officials make play for Giants Stadium
    Surprising offer to N.J. heightens football's 2-team, 2-state drama

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005
    BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The Jets have offered to buy Giants Stadium, acting Gov. Richard Codey said late yesterday, adding another bizarre twist to the high- stakes negotiations over the future of professional football in New Jersey.

    On a day when New York officials boasted they were on the verge of snaring a Super Bowl game for the Jets' proposed West Side stadium, New Jersey's governor said the team has offered at least $120 million for the state- owned facility in the Meadowlands.

    State officials consider a deal to sell the 28-year-old stadium to the Jets the longest of long shots. But if talks proceed, it sets up the possibility of the Giants becoming tenants in the stadium that bears their name.

    Jets President Jay Cross made the verbal offer Friday to George Zoffinger, chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the state agency that controls the Meadowlands Sports Complex, Codey said.

    "I'm aware of the dialogue that has occurred between Jay Cross and George Zoffinger," Codey said.

    New Jersey officials were taking it as a sign that the Jets' West Side plan, opposed by the owner of Madison Square Garden, is in peril -- which a Jets spokeswoman denied.

    "Last week we were supposedly buying the Garden; this week we are supposedly buying the Meadowlands," said Marissa Shorenstein, the team spokeswoman. "Nothing has changed. The New York Jets have made it unequivocally clear that we have no intention of building a new home anywhere but on the far West Side."

    Making a play for Giants Stadium, though, could give the Jets a fallback should opposition to building a domed stadium over Manhattan rail yards force their hand.

    The Jets have played in Giants Stadium for 24 years, and while their financial deal is similar to the Giants', they have long been considered secondary tenants. This latest move could be a way of sending a message: If the two teams have to share a new stadium in the Meadowlands, the seats won't all be the blue and red colors of the Giants.

    The Giants' current lease runs out in 2026, while the Jets' ends in 2009. Any negotiations over a Jets deal would have to work out the sticky issue of stadium improvements that the state promised the Giants. The price tag for that work could hit $300 million.

    It isn't clear if, during the initial talks, the Jets discussed how they would tackle any of the improvements.

    Giants officials could not be reached for comment last night.

    The Jets and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have spent the past five weeks waging a desperate battle to save the proposal for a $1.7 billion stadium, which would serve as a site of the 2012 Summer Olympics if the city is awarded the Games. An announcement is due this summer, but support for more than $600 million in public subsidies has been waning.

    Negotiations between the Giants and New Jersey over a new stadium on this side of the Hudson River broke down last week. After that, the Jets and city leaders began talking to the Giants about bringing the Giants back to New York, too.

    The Super Bowl adds another wrinkle, because attracting the 2010 game had been a major part of the rationale for a new Giants Stadium.

    New York officials said yesterday the message from the National Football League was clear: Build a domed stadium and the Super Bowl will come to Manhattan in 2010.

    "Unless we build the Sports and Convention Center, New York won't get the Super Bowl and will lose out on hundreds of jobs, more than $200 million in economic activity and nearly $30 million in tax revenue," Bloomberg said, using the formal name of the West Side project.

    NFL officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

    New Jersey officials cried foul, however, claiming the NFL had promised the big game to the Meadowlands. Zoffinger accused the NFL of trying to extort money from taxpayers.

    "We've been operating under the assumption they would keep their word and work with us on a Super Bowl," he said. "For them to use it as a carrot for a stadium in New York that is one of the worst possible sites for a facility in this country is a little disingenuous."

    John Raskin, spokesperson for the Hell's Kitchen/Hudson Yards Alliance, a coalition of West Side elected officials and community leaders, said the possibility of the 2010 Super Bowl in Manhattan does not change his group's opinion.

    "Super Bowl or no Super Bowl, the proposed West Side stadium would be an outrageous misuse of more than $1 billion of taxpayer money," Raskin said.

    New Jersey officials tried yesterday to get talks with the Giants on track. The Giants have offered to spend $700 million on a new stadium and pay the state $6.3 million a year to rent the land. But the talks broke down over Codey's refusal to prohibit the state from taxing specific stadium-related items, such as luxury box leases and ticket sales.

    Carl Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, met yesterday with Steven Tisch, son of the team's co- owner, Robert Tisch, who has been representing his family's interests.

    Tisch and Goldberg did not return phone calls, but officials involved with the negotiations said it was unlikely any deal would be reached during the next two weeks because Giants chief executive John Mara is in Hawaii attending an NFL meeting.

    Mara, whose father, Wellington, owns 50 percent of the team, has been the driving force behind the team's stadium negotiations for several years. The Giants aren't expected to make any substantive moves without his direct involvement.

    "John Mara is in Hawaii for competition committee meetings this week and league meetings next week," team spokesman Pat Hanlon said earlier in the day. "The bottom line is, do I expect anything given the circumstances? The answer is no."

    The Hawaii meeting is where the NFL is scheduled to decide Monday on the location of 2010 Super Bowl. Under NFL rules, Super Bowl sites require approval by 24 of the league's 32 owners, who include Mara and Jets owner Robert "Woody" Johnson. A vote to hold the event in New York would be contingent on construction of the West Side stadium

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    Giants and state closer to a deal on stadium
    Codey leads while Zoffinger accedes

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005
    BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
    Star-Ledger Staff

    State officials yesterday closed in on a deal with the Giants for a $750 million stadium in the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

    While no face-to-face meetings took place, negotiators on both sides spent the day exchanging proposals via telephone and fax machine. By nightfall, officials involved in the discussions said only a few minor details remained.

    "I would say that is a very appropriate description," said acting Gov. Richard Codey, who was directly involved in yesterday's talks.

    At the same time, a main opponent of the deal, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Chief Executive George Zoffinger, said he now supports a new stadium.

    The progress marks a major turning point in negotiations that have been stalled for more than a month. It comes after the Giants launched a withering attack on the state in the past week. Part of that effort included suing the Sports Authority for not renovating the current stadium in accordance with their lease and demanding as much as $300 million in renovations.

    Talks broke down March 9 after the state refused to rule out taxes on stadium-related items, such as luxury suites. The Giants, meanwhile, refused to approve the $1.3 billion Xanadu retail and entertainment center now under construction at the sports complex.

    Codey said the Giants are close to relenting on the tax issue. The two sides have nearly worked out a formula for dividing additional money from a naming rights deal if the Jets end up playing in the new stadium. Industry experts said those rights could sell for as much as $10 million a year if the Giants are alone. Add the Jets and the number could reach $15 million, they said.

    Under the proposed formula, the state will get a cut of any naming rights deal beyond a certain threshold, Codey said. The Giants declined to comment on the specifics of the talks.

    The naming rights issue could be moot. The Jets want to move to a proposed $2 billion stadium on Manhattan's West Side after their lease at the Meadowlands expires in 2009. They took a major step toward that goal yesterday, winning approval for the project from the Empire State Development Corp., New York state's economic development agency.

    Just one more state board must approve the West Side stadium, though Madison Square Garden has sued to stop the project. That case could take years, making it likely that the Jets will remain in New Jersey beyond the end of their lease.

    Codey achieved one major victory yesterday by finally winning the support of Zoffinger, who had argued it could cost taxpayers as much as $150 million and jeopardize Xanadu. He called Codey's chief counsel, Paul Fader, yesterday morning to tell him he was giving up his fight under pressure from the administration.

    "At the governor's urging, I have agreed to go along with a transaction and bring any deal the governor reaches to the board of the sports authority for a vote," Zoffinger said. "My intention right now is to concentrate on completion of Xanadu, bringing rail service to the sports complex and building concert and racing business."

    Under previously agreed-upon terms, the Giants will pay to build the $750 million stadium and give the state $6.3 million in annual rent and taxes for 75 acres at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The state will pay up to $30 million to bring utilities to the site, and be responsible for $124 million in debt that remains on the existing stadium.

    Codey has argued that renovating the current stadium would be far more expensive, though he has not yet said how he plans to pay off the debt.

    Giants Chief Executive John Mara said that winning Zoffinger's support was a major victory.

    "If it's true, it's welcome," said Mara. "Unity from the state certainly can't hurt."

    Any agreement between the Giants and the state will be contingent on the team reaching a deal with Xanadu's developers, the Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty, which want their complex open on football Sundays. The Giants fear that Xanadu will worsen what is already a traffic nightmare.

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    Deal Is Struck for a New Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands

    By LAURA MANSNERUS


    Published: April 14, 2005



    he New York Giants say they are staying put in the Meadowlands.

    Team executives and state officials said last night that they had reached an agreement for the construction of a new 80,000-seat stadium next to their existing one at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

    The deal, which was completed at a closed meeting yesterday between representatives of the team and the state, ends a months-long dispute between the two sides and calls for the Giants to build a $750 million stadium and pay the state $6.3 million a year.

    The team and Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey issued statements last night saying that Mr. Codey and the Sports Authority chairman, Carl Goldberg, would join Giants executives John Mara and Steve Tisch at the stadium to announce details of the plan.

    Mr. Codey had expressed optimism earlier yesterday that he would be able to announce a deal today. He did not attend the meeting but said he spent the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. yesterday on the phone and at the fax machine with team officials in the effort to reach a deal.

    Talks between the team and the state broke off last month when state officials refused to include a provision in the agreement that no taxes on stadium revenue would be imposed in the future and demanded that the Giants approve the construction of an entertainment and retail complex at the Meadowlands.

    As the three other teams in the Meadowlands Sports Complex prepare to decamp for Newark and New York, the Giants have been at odds with the state over the terms of its lease, which runs until 2026, and the future of its 29-year-old stadium, which the team had argued was outdated and in need of hundreds of millions of dollars in renovations.

    The dispute was aggravated by the decision of the Sports and Exposition Authority several years ago to stake the future of the sports complex on the privately financed development called Xanadu, now under construction, which will rise around the Continental Airlines Arena. The arena and the football stadium are separated by a road, but the Giants worried that the increased traffic and parking would be a crushing burden on game days.

    In the meantime, the New Jersey Devils hockey team announced a move to Newark, where construction on a new stadium is to begin this summer, and the New Jersey Nets agreed to move to a new arena in Brooklyn. The New York Jets, who now share Giants Stadium, would be the prime tenants in the stadium that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing for the West Side of Manhattan.

    When Mr. Codey took office in mid-November, he sought to shift the emphasis at the Meadowlands complex back to its sports team tenants and to accommodate the Giants, the state's first professional sports franchise. He clashed with the Sports Authority president, George Zoffinger, who had opposed the Giants' stadium proposal.

    This week, Mr. Zoffinger relented, clearing the way for renewed talks. Mr. Goldberg has taken the lead in the negotiations and emerged as a kind of referee. "I do not think George has mishandled anything," Mr. Goldberg said yesterday, commenting on reports that the governor had blamed Mr. Zoffinger for alienating the Giants.

    Mr. Zoffinger had argued that the state would be sacrificing revenue from the stadium, including money from concerts. But the Giants say, and Mr. Goldberg agreed that the stadium does not bring in a profit.

    Mr. Zoffinger said yesterday that he had nothing to do with the deal, adding: "You fight for what you think is right. But at the end of the day, I don't think it helps if I say much more about it."

    Mr. Codey contended that the Giants' proposal to build their own stadium would save taxpayers money by relieving the state of its obligation under the lease to make improvements to maintain a "state of the art" stadium, as required by the lease.

    After the talks broke down, the state sought a declaratory judgment from Superior Court in Bergen County to clarify the term "state of the art." On April 5, the Giants countersued to force the state to make improvements and to block the Xanadu construction.

    Although the Giants are paying all construction costs, the state must still pay $120 million of outstanding debt on the old stadium and $30 million to $40 million in infrastructure improvements - a politically touchy proposition at a time when Mr. Codey is proposing to eliminate property tax rebates and cut social programs because of the state's dire fiscal condition.

    The Sports Authority board, which is scheduled to meet April 27, must approve the agreement.



    Josh Benson and John Holl contributed reporting for this article.

    Copyright 2005The New York Times Company

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    NYTimes
    April 15, 2005

    New Jersey Reveals the Details of a New Stadium for the Giants


    Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, seated, on Thursday with, from left, the Giants' co-owners, Robert Tisch and Wellington Mara; Carl Goldberg, chairman of New Jersey's Sports and Exposition Authority; Steve Tisch; and John Mara, announcing plans for a new Giants Stadium.


    By LAURA MANSNERUS

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., April 14 - The New York Giants will replace their aging stadium with an expanded $750 million complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands under an agreement that Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said Thursday was "the best deal for the taxpayers of any stadium deal in the N.F.L."

    The new stadium will have 200 luxury suites - the current stadium now has 118 - a major expansion in club seating, new stores, restaurants and practice facilities, which altogether will nearly triple the size of the Giants' site at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, to 75 acres.

    The Giants will own and manage the stadium, while paying the state $5 million a year in rent for the land and giving it $1.3 million annually in payments in lieu of taxes. The state will pay the $125 million in existing debt on the current stadium, and the infrastructure costs for the new stadium, estimated at $30 million.

    The agreement, struck Wednesday night between team executives and state officials, ends a dispute that had landed both parties in court and cast doubt on the future of the sports complex, which even now is being transformed by the construction of a huge entertainment and retail development.

    Mr. Codey described the deal, a critical victory in his campaign to rescue professional sports in the state, in glowing terms at a news conference with executives of the team.

    The agreement still must be evaluated by the board of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which has called a meeting on Tuesday to vote on it.

    And the deal has detractors, including the sports authority's executive director, George Zoffinger. Mr. Zoffinger agreed just in the last week, under pressure from Mr. Codey, not to block the proposal. But he and some others at the sports authority have maintained that it effectively gave the team a taxpayer subsidy.

    Mr. Codey and Carl Goldberg, the chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, stressed that the Giants would pay all construction costs, while relieving the state of its obligation under the old lease to make improvements necessary to maintain a "state of the art" stadium - an uncertain but potentially huge obligation that the Giants put at $300 million and had threatened to enforce in court.

    "When other states are building stadiums on the backs of taxpayers, Jersey has said no," Mr. Codey said.

    But Andrew Zimbalist, an economist at Smith College who has written extensively on public spending on sports franchises, said Mr. Codey was "blatantly incorrect" in calling the stadium deal the best in the league for taxpayers.

    Mr. Zimbalist noted that the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins play in stadiums built entirely with their owners' money, and he said that the Patriots are reimbursing the state for its $71 million in infrastructure costs.

    Still, Mr. Zimbalist said the New Jersey deal was, among N.F.L. stadiums, "very close to the top end of taxpayer advantage, or lack of disadvantage," since the average public subsidy for an N.F.L. stadium is 60 percent.

    A better deal for the state, Mr. Zimbalist said, would be losing the team altogether. But Mr. Codey made it clear from the day he took office in November that that was not an option. And after negotiations collapsed last month, Mr. Codey worked to revive them.

    In the meantime, the Giants used the "state of the art" provision in their lease as a potential trump, suing the sports authority to force it to pay for renovations.

    John Mara, the Giants' executive vice president, whose family owns 50 percent of the team, said that "there was a period of time when I was not sure we were going to make it" but that "that really changed over the past few days when the governor took charge of negotiations."

    While the Giants are no longer pursuing the renovation issue in court, Mr. Mara said, the team is not dropping its request for an injunction to stop the construction of the Meadowlands Xanadu project at the sports complex.

    The project, part of former Gov. James E. McGreevey's plan to ease the state out of the professional sports business, has angered the team, which claims that Xanadu patrons will interfere with game traffic and parking.

    The Giants and the Xanadu developers, the Mills Corporation and the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, must still reach a separate accord on those traffic and parking issues. While it is not clear what recourse the team would have if its concerns are not satisfied, Mr. Mara said the team was "cautiously optimistic," and Robert G. Sommer, a spokesman for the Xanadu partnership, said, "we believe, and I'm sure it's their belief, that we'll work it out."

    The team's new agreement with New Jersey leaves open the possibility that the New York Jets, who now share the stadium with the Giants but are planning a move to the proposed West Side stadium in Manhattan, will stay.

    The other teams at the sports complex are planning to leave, the New Jersey Devils hockey team for a new arena in Newark, the New Jersey Nets for a new arena in Brooklyn and the MetroStars soccer team to a planned stadium in Harrison, N.J.

    The Giants do not yet have a site plan or design for their expanded new quarters, scheduled for completion in 2008. The stadium will seat 80,000, an increase of 4,000 seats, and in addition to the luxury suites will include club seating for 8,000 to 10,000 people. The current stadium has 142 club seats. The plan also calls for wider concourses and improved concession stands and bathrooms.

    The team's lease is for 40 years with options that could extend it to 98 years. Mr. Zimbalist said that while the stadium would not be the most expensive ever built, "it will be in the top five."

    Mr. Mara said, "We are currently well down in the third quartile of the N.F.L. in terms of our revenues, and we believe a new stadium will bring us into the first quartile." He said he had no projections on ticket costs but expected that luxury suites would cost about $200,000 a year each.

    In addition, the state has agreed to sell naming rights to the stadium, and to give the first $12 million to the team. The state would keep up to $3 million of any excess.

    While Mr. Codey and Mr. Goldberg congratulated the team owners - including the Maras and the Tisch family, the Giants' co-owners - at the news conference, Mr. Zoffinger was conspicuously absent. When asked whether Mr. Zoffinger's job was safe, Mr. Codey shrugged. But Mr. Goldberg said, "I'm sure he will be the head of the sports authority for as long as he wishes." Mr. Zoffinger was out of state Thursday and not available for comment.


    Richard Sandomir contributed reporting for this article.

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    N.J. offers to add a stadium roof to keep Jets in state
    State ups ante for stranded football team

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005
    BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
    Star-Ledger Staff

    When Jets owner Woody Johnson gets New Jersey's pitch to make the Meadowlands the permanent home for his football team, state officials said yesterday, he will hear these two important words: "retractable roof."

    George Zoffinger, chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, said yesterday that, with the demise of plans for a Manhattan home for the Jets, New Jersey will try to nail down a deal for a stadium that not only would serve the Jets and the Giants but could host such events as the Super Bowl and NCAA basketball's Final Four.

    "If both teams decide to stay, there is a tremendous opportunity for the state to build a dome on the new stadium, and make its money back on the investment," Zoffinger said. "This can work."

    The pronouncement came the day after one of the most tumultuous days in the recent political history in New York. The Jets' five-year quest for a stadium on Manhattan's West Side and the city's campaign to land the 2012 Summer Olympic Games both came crashing down in a classic, New York-style political brawl. Despite backing from New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki, the stadium efforts failed in the face of opposition from the state's top two legislators, leaving the Jets with few alternatives once their Giants Stadium lease expires in 2008.

    However, Giants officials have said they would welcome the Jets as a partner in the $750 million stadium the team plans to build near the site of their current one. And both teams' owners and acting Gov. Richard Codey plan to make an intense push in the coming weeks to keep the Jets in New Jersey.

    "The time for us to act is now, to bring two franchises together; it's an influx of cash and we could build the premier stadium in the entire country," said state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), whose district includes the Meadowlands.

    Sarlo said he is opposed to taxpayers paying for the retractable roof, which could cost as much as $200 million, or almost twice the cost of a fixed dome.

    Codey said he wasn't ready to commit public money to it but that the idea of a retractable roof is definitely on the table.

    "The Giants were not originally enamored of the idea of a roof, but now that the Jets may be involved and the cost would be significantly less, they may be more inclined," Codey said.

    John Mara, the Giants chief executive, said his organization wants to play outdoors.

    "We would consider a retractable roof, but it doesn't pay for us to incur the additional cost," Mara said. "If the state is willing to pay for it, though, it's something we're willing to talk about."

    Jets officials didn't return phone calls seeking comment. Team officials were said to be seething about the collapse of their dream for a stadium in Manhattan, which ended Monday while many of the team's top executives were taking part in a golf outing organized by head coach Herman Edwards.

    Industry experts said a stadium with a retractable roof in the Meadowlands would be a gold mine for the two teams: They would cut their expenses and still bring in nearly as much money in ticket and luxury suite sales and advertising.

    The teams could jointly sell the luxury suites and high-priced club seats, and the stadium could be built with electronic billboards so the teams could each sell individual sponsorships to rival companies. McDonald's, for example, would be able to sponsor the Giants and buy a sign that, when the Jets played, could turn into a Burger King sign.

    "Economically, this is what makes sense," said Robert Tillis, a leading financial consultant to the sports industry. "The only problem is everyone these days wants to own and manage their own building, and the question is: Can these two organizations live with each other? The challenges are more psychological than financial."

    The teams' owners -- Johnson and the Giants' Mara and Tisch families -- have a cordial relationship, but the two sides aren't as close as when Leon Hess owned the Jets.

    Johnson has rejected the idea of bringing his team back to Queens, and he has lost his Manhattan bid, but he has little appetite for continuing to play in a building that bears another team's name and where the seats are Giants blue and red.

    John Mara said he expects a corporation to buy the naming rights to the new Meadowlands stadium and that other issues also could be resolved if Johnson is willing to work with a "crosstown rival."

    Experts said Johnson will have to determine the price of a complicated trade-off.

    "A team gives up a considerable amount of its identity when it shares a stadium," said David Carter, who teaches at the University of Southern California about the business of sports. "But that can be offset by the major influx of corporate dollars that kind of building is going to attract."

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    Meadowlands gaining ground as the Jets' future

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005
    BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
    Star-Ledger Staff

    With New York City reaching a deal with the Mets for a new ballpark in Queens that will morph into an Olympic Stadium if the city lands the 2012 Olympics, the Jets now appear even more likely to call the Meadowlands home for decades to come.

    Jets owner Woody Johnson never wanted to move his team back to Queens and had his heart set on the West Side of Manhattan. But losing NYC2012, the Olympic organizers, as a partner makes it that much harder to build a controversial West Side stadium, which struggled to gain overwhelming support even when it was coupled with the allure of those five multicolored rings.

    Yesterday, Jets officials maintained their public stance that all hope is not lost for the West Side.

    "We have always maintained that this project, for us at least, was not about hosting the Olympics, but creating the best sports and convention center in the world, and that hasn't changed," said Matt Higgins, a team spokesman.

    However, the Jets' top executives have already begun talks with the Giants about a shared stadium. Also, officials in New Jersey say New York's decision to partner with the Mets on an Olympic stadium in Queens shows that the Jets were sincere when they said repeatedly the Meadowlands remained their top alternative if plans in Manhattan fell through.

    "The Jets are now conspicuously absent from the Olympic plan, and I think that speaks volumes about their interest in negotiating an understanding with New Jersey and the Giants," said Carl Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the Meadowlands.

    Acting Gov. Richard Codey said yesterday that the Jets were "absolutely, positively" going to remain in New Jersey. "No question about it. They're dealing with the Giants."

    If the Jets end up with their "Plan B," the team will have plenty of company. With most taxpayers against public subsidies for sports franchises, nearly every top sports team in the region has been forced during the past decade to abandon its dream home and settle for one they can afford and the public can stomach.

    The same can be said for New York's Olympic bid.

    The NYC2012 bid committee worked yesterday to finalize its proposal for the 2012 Games with a stadium in Queens -- not the West Side of Manhattan -- as the centerpiece.

    We have no question that this plan technically will be outstanding, will demonstrate the Games will be an outstanding Games," Jay Kriegel, the NYC2012 bid committee executive director, said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

    The New York committee hopes to send its new plan to the International Olympic Committee next week. The IOC will choose a host city for the 2012 Games on July 6.

    When the plans for the West Side stadium did not receive the state funding needed to build it, NYC2012 was left to scramble to find a new site for its bid.

    The IOC's bid evaluation committee gave the city until today to respond to a report where the lack of a stadium was noted as a concern. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced the plans for the stadium in Queens on Sunday.

    "Faced with adversity, New York has gotten back up off the mat very quickly and has demonstrated the capacity to put something big, bold and incredibly complicated together in just a few days," Kriegel said.

    BUILDING BLOCKS

    The Jets -- and NYC2012 -- are the latest to revert to Plan B with their stadium plans. Here is a rundown of those teams, their dreams and the current state of their plans:

    Yankees

    Plan A: In 1995 George Steinbrenner, with former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's support, pursues a stadium at the Hudson rail yards on Manhattan's West Side, but the community rejects the idea of 50,000 fans descending on their neighborhood 81 days each year and hundreds of millions in public subsidies spent on the project.

    Plan B: The Yankees claim they are weeks away from announcing a deal with New York City to build a $700 million stadium in a South Bronx park near their current home. The team will pay for the stadium, with the city and state fixing nearby roads and building a train station.

    Mets

    Plan A: In 1998 owner Fred Wilpon proposes an $800 million replica of Ebbets Field with a retractable roof in Queens, but he fails to draw some $400 million in financial support from city officials.

    Plan B: On Sunday Wilpon agrees to a build a $600 million stadium on his own that will be converted to an Olympic stadium if the city lands the 2012 Summer Olympics. There will be no roof.

    Jets

    Plan A: In 2000 the Jets partner with NYC2012, the group behind New York's Olympic bid, and propose what becomes a $2.2 billion Olympic and football stadium for Manhattan's West Side. It requires a $1 billion public subsidy.

    Plan B: After the West Side plan collapsed last week, the Jets and Giants start discussing a shared stadium in the Meadowlands.

    Giants

    Plan A: In 2001 the Giants reached an agreement with former acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco to take over Giants Stadium for $1, but incoming Gov. James E. McGreevey kills the deal.

    Plan B: The Giants, and likely the Jets, will spend $800 million to build a stadium in the Meadowlands.

    Nets

    Plan A: In 1998 Nets owners Raymond Chambers and Lewis Katz propose an arena in Newark, which fails three times in the state legislature.

    Plan B: In 2004, Chambers, Katz and their partners double their purchase price of $150 million by selling the team to Bruce Ratner for $300 million. Ratner is planning an arena in Brooklyn.

    Devils

    Plan A: In 1998, former owner John McMullen proposes an arena on the Hoboken waterfront above the rail terminal, but he fails to gain public support.

    Plan B: Owner Jeff Vanderbeek is building an arena in Newark, where the city has pledged $210 million for the project.

    Knicks/Rangers

    Plan A: From 1998-2004, the teams' parent company, Cablevision Systems, scout out sites in midtown Manhattan for a new Madison Square Garden but come up empty-handed.

    Plan B: Last year the team announces a $300 million renovation of their current home.

  8. #23
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Giants Stadium rail link seen by 2007

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005
    By JOE MALINCONICO
    NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

    Giants Stadium could finally get a train station, but not for another two and a half years.

    NJ Transit expects to begin construction this fall on a $150 million, 2.3-mile rail spur that would link the sports complex to just about every train station in the state by December 2007.

    But the project already faces second-guessing from transportation and environmental groups who question whether the plan is the best way to provide train service to the Meadowlands and the proposed Xanadu retail and entertainment center.

    Passengers on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Midtown Direct and Bergen-Main lines would be able to take trains to Secaucus Junction and make the transfer for the five-mile, eight-minute ride to the Meadowlands from there. On the Raritan Valley line, folks would have to make two transfers - one at Newark and a second at Secaucus.

    Diesel shuttle trains would make a 23-minute run between Hoboken Terminal and the sports complex, including the stop at Secaucus to pick up passengers transferring from other lines.

    Even including time for transfers at Secaucus, the new link would put more than 80 stations around the state within a one-hour trip of the Meadowlands, transit officials said.

    On football Sundays or during event events like basketball games or concerts, the shuttle trains to the Meadowlands would run every five or 10 minutes, under NJ Transit's plans. Otherwise, the trains would operate at half-hour intervals, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to midnight.

    Transit officials estimate that between 10,000 and 12,000 people would take trains to events at Giants Stadium. They have not come up with numbers for other times, saying that will depend on exactly what gets built at Xanadu.

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is putting up all the money for the project, while NJ Transit is handling the construction and operation of the trains.

    In addition to the $150 million spur, which would connect to the Meadowlands from NJ Transit's Pascack Valley line, officials also are considering building a $1 billion extension of the light rail line in Hudson County to the sports complex. Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation is moving ahead on $71 million worth of road work at the complex, including new connections with the New Jersey Turnpike and improvement to routes 3, 17 and 120.

    "You're going to have many, many more options there," Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere said. "But.all of the dots haven't been connected yet. We're working with NJ Transit, the Turnpike, the county, the Meadowlands and all the other agencies involved to do that. This all has to fit together and it can."

  9. #24

    Default

    http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/


    The Jets go long by asking Giants to share stadium

    'NFL showplace' to seat 90,000

    Thursday, August 11, 2005 BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
    Star-Ledger Staff

    In the strongest signal yet that they are serious about making New Jersey their permanent home, the Jets are proposing the "ultimate NFL showplace" in the Meadowlands, including a 90,000-seat stadium that they would share with the Giants.

    The proposal, which the Jets submitted yesterday to the Giants, calls for a massive football complex in East Rutherford that would be integrated with the Xanadu retail and entertainment center now under construction.

    Plans call for the two teams to privately finance the stadium, a price for which was not included. In addition, a hotel and conference center, a tailgating park and an interactive center that would combine the two teams' Halls of Fame with the NFL Experience would be built.

    The project should "create the ultimate NFL showplace in the nation's largest market through an unprecedented partnership between two teams in the same league...," according to the plan, a copy of which was obtained by The Star-Ledger.

    By submitting such a plan, the Jets are indicating they are serious about staying in New Jersey. Their proposal also launches a new chapter in the Giants' agreement with acting Gov. Richard Codey to build an $800 million, 80,000-seat stadium in the Meadowlands.

    Giants Stadium opened in 1976 and the two teams have played there since 1984.

    Since that agreement between the Giants and the state was reached last spring, the Jets' plans to move to a new stadium on Manhattan's West Side have collapsed. In addition, the Giants have said they would like to form a partnership with the Jets for a shared stadium in the Meadowlands to reduce their risk in the privately financed venture.

    Despite sputtering talks over the past two months, officials said yesterday the two sides now appear to be moving toward a partnership.

    "We have said all along a shared stadium ... makes the most sense, and this shows that the Jets are serious about working with the Giants and working with Xanadu to make this happen," said George Zoffinger, chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

    John Mara, chief executive for the Giants, could not be reached for comment yesterday and Jets officials declined to comment directly on the plan.

    In a related development, the Jets received an invitation this week from New York City officials to discuss a move to Queens, where a new stadium would be built for them. In a statement, Matt Higgins, a team spokesman, said the Jets have accepted the invitation to meet later this month and are leaving all their options open.

    At the same time, however, Higgins indicated a new intensity in the talks with the Giants.

    "Negotiations with the state of New Jersey and the Giants over a proposed joint stadium have intensified," Higgins' statement said. "If negotiations proceed accordingly, all parties expect an agreement could be reached by Fall 2005."

    Under the Jets' proposal, the team would become a part of the Giants' deal with the state. That deal calls for the Giants to pay for construction of a new stadium and for the state to supply 75 acres of land and $30 million in infrastructure improvements.

    The Jets' plan calls for the two teams to operate the stadium without involvement from the sports authority and to keep all revenues from the building. The proposed 90,000-seat stadium, which would be the largest in the National Football League, would be built between the current facility and the Meadowlands Racetrack, as the Giants have proposed.

    However, that's where similarities with the Giants' plan end.

    The stadium the Jets are proposing is 10,000 seats larger. Instead of putting the Giants training facility next to the new stadium on property that would be more desirable for commercial activity, the Jets propose constructing it on the northern side of the racetrack on Paterson Plank Road.

    The Jets also want to divide the parking and fan gathering areas into an "urban zone" centered around a new rail station that would be built near the stadium, and a "suburban zone" where much of the outdoor parking and tailgating would occur.

    The urban zone would include retail stores, restaurants and bars; the suburban zone would include food and beverage stands, according to the proposal.

    While a shared stadium now appears to be the goal of both teams, the two sides have a long way to go before they can begin construction. They need to form a joint corporation to manage the facility and agree on the design of the stadium itself.

    The Giants also remain skeptical of the Xanadu project, fearing that the massive retail and entertainment center will worsen traffic problems on game days. For their part, the Jets favor the new energy Xanadu is expected to bring to the sports complex.

    Zoffinger has said the state would like to put a retractable roof on a new stadium so it could accommodate a Super Bowl and perhaps the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament. While the state might be willing to pay for a roof, it would likely want to share in the profits or have the right to schedule other events, such as concerts and international soccer games, in the building.

    The football teams, however, remain intent on managing the building privately and would likely want to live without the roof instead of allowing the state to take a share of the profits.

    Under the proposal, the Jets also would move their training facilities and headquarters from Hofstra University on Long Island to New Jersey to a site the state would provide. That would allow the state to collect significantly more income taxes from the organization's $100 million payroll.

    Both plans call for the Giants to relocate their training facilities from Albany, N.Y., to the Meadowlands.

    © 2005 The Star Ledger© 2005 NJ.com All Rights Reserved. if

  10. #25

    Default

    Jets submit plan for shared stadium with Giants

    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    August 11, 2005, 4:47 PM EDT

    NEWARK, N.J. -- With the dream of a Manhattan stadium fading, the Jets are putting most of their efforts into a proposal that would keep them at the Meadowlands sports complex, again sharing a stadium with the New York Giants, a Jets executive said Thursday.

    "Negotiations with the Giants are ongoing, and that's not the case elsewhere," Jets vice president Matthew Higgins said.

    The most recent move came Wednesday, when the Jets submitted a plan for a new, 90,000-seat stadium that would be integrated with the Xanadu shopping and entertainment center being built at the Meadowlands, he said. It would hold more people than any other in the NFL.

    The plan first was reported by The Star-Ledger of Newark in Thursday's newspapers.

    Meanwhile, the Jets plan to meet later this month with officials from Queens, N.Y, who would like the Jets to build near their original home at Shea Stadium. "We're happy to listen," Higgins said.

    The Giants have already agreed with New Jersey, which operates the Meadowlands, to build an 80,000-seat stadium that would open for the 2009 season. The Giants plan on paying for the $750 million venue themselves, but reiterated Thursday they would be happy to share ownership with the Jets.

    "It remains our preference to have them stay in the Meadowlands as our partners in a new stadium," John K. Mara, the team's chief operating officer, said in an e-mail exchange.

    "If they choose to go in a different direction, then we would wish them the best of luck. In the meantime, we are proceeding with our plans to build a new stadium," Mara said.

    He declined to comment on the plan submitted by the Jets, and Higgins had no immediate detail on how Xanadu would fit with the stadium.

    The Giants have tried, without success, to halt Xanadu construction, maintaining that their lease for the stadium requires no other activity at the Meadowlands begin until three hours after football games end. The team, asserting Xanadu would cause traffic jams for its fans, has been unable to reach an agreement with Xanadu's developers on when the complex would operate on game days.

    The Jets plan includes a rail line for the complex, said George R. Zoffinger, president and CEO of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, which operates the Meadowlands.

    "Paramount in our mind is the progress that has been made between the two teams," Zoffinger said in a statement.

    "I would hope that both teams would strongly consider a retractable dome for the stadium," he said. "It would allow the stadium to host the Super Bowl, Final Four, even the Olympics, as well as other events."

    The Jets had hoped to build a new stadium in Manhattan, but suffered a major setback in June when New York state leaders refused to approve $300 million for the $2.2 billion structure, which was also envisioned as the stadium for the 2012 Olympics. The games were later awarded to London.

    Higgins said the Jets have until Aug. 31 to tell the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which awarded rights to the Manhattan site to the Jets, whether the team is still interested in the site.

    Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.

  11. #26
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Default The soap opera continues...

    State calls for Giants, Jets to huddle on stadium

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005
    BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The Giants' latest plan for a new stadium complex in the Meadowlands contrasts starkly with the Jets' proposal for the site.

    Just a week ago, state officials were heralding the Jets' plans for a joint stadium and retail complex at the Meadowlands as a major step toward building the NFL's premier destination. But the two sides remain far apart on their proposals both for a stadium and how to develop commercial property around it.

    In fact, according to drawings the Giants submitted this week to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the team doesn't yet acknowledge the project may become a joint venture, nor does the Giants' latest plan incorporate any of the Jets' design suggestions. The new drawings label the proposed stadium "Giants Stadium" and the surrounding plaza "Giants Plaza."

    "Clearly, the plan the Giants gave is dramatically different than the one given to the authority by Jets," said Carl Goldberg, chairman of the sports authority, the state agency that operates the Meadowlands Sports Complex. "They have different visions."

    Goldberg said yesterday the sports authority would return the Giants' plans because they lacked details about parking, traffic management and engineering, which the authority needs to continue its evaluation.

    But by sending back the plans, state officials said, the sports authority also was telling the Giants to work more closely with the Jets before making another submission.

    "When you start a partnership, there will be disagreements," acting Gov. Richard Codey said. "But these two teams need to work harder, meet more often and spend more time in those meetings to get this done."

    According to both teams' plans, the new stadium would go in between the current stadium and the Meadowlands Racetrack, but they disagree on key elements:


    Location of the Giants' practice facility: The Jets proposed moving the Giants training center and practice fields behind the Meadowlands Racetrack so as not to take up valuable land adjacent to the stadium with a use that would not generate revenue. The Giants prefer to keep the practice fields next to the stadium so there is a seamless flow between training facility and playing field.


    Design of the commercial development around the stadium: The Jets want to concentrate the development in two structures -- a hotel and conference center and another building that would house everything from the interactive NFL Experience to football-themed restaurants and shops and the teams' halls of fame. The Giants want to spread the retail facilities around the stadium in a series of buildings of various sizes.


    Connections to the adjacent Xanadu retail and entertainment complex: The Jets would integrate the stadium's commercial and retail space with Xanadu, connecting the two projects using a complex built above the planned rail station at the Meadowlands. The Giants propose a simple 400-foot walkway across Route 120.


    The size of the stadium: The Jets propose a 90,000-seat stadium, while the Giants remain committed to an 80,000-seat structure.


    Giants Chief Executive John Mara declined to comment specifically on his team's plans.

    "I'm not going to confirm what we have and have not submitted," he said, "other than to say we've been working closely with the sports authority for some time, submitting various plans to them on a regular basis, and we will continue to do so."

    Jets Chief Executive Jay Cross is on vacation this week and has not seen the Giants' latest proposal. Matt Higgins, a Jets spokesman, declined to comment on the Giants' plans.

    The two teams have shared Giants Stadium since 1984. Until last week, the Jets were officially committed to moving to New York. But plans to move to the West Side of Manhattan collapsed in June and the team has said it would prefer to stay in New Jersey in a shared stadium, rather than build its own home at an alternative New York site in Queens.

    The Giants remain a step ahead of the Jets because the team has already signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with the state to build an $800 million stadium in the Meadowlands.

    However, that agreement carries certain obligations that are becoming increasingly burdensome to the team.

    For example, unless the Giants receive the Jets' approval for a new stadium and reach an agreement with the developers of Xanadu on a traffic plan by Sept. 15, the state has the right to tear up the MOU.

    Also, since the Giants have signed an MOU and have begun a formal approval process, the sports authority expects the team's plans to be more detailed than the conceptual proposal the Jets submitted last week.

    "I was looking for a much higher level and complete submission from the Giants," Goldberg said. "The Jets wanted to demonstrate their commitment to the state in a conceptual plan. The Giants were moving forward in a process that would lead to a master plan approval, and a lot higher level of detail was anticipated."

  12. #27
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Default As The Meadowlands Turns...

    State calls for Giants, Jets to huddle on stadium

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005
    BY MATTHEW FUTTERMAN
    Star-Ledger Staff

    The Giants' latest plan for a new stadium complex in the Meadowlands contrasts starkly with the Jets' proposal for the site.

    Just a week ago, state officials were heralding the Jets' plans for a joint stadium and retail complex at the Meadowlands as a major step toward building the NFL's premier destination. But the two sides remain far apart on their proposals both for a stadium and how to develop commercial property around it.

    In fact, according to drawings the Giants submitted this week to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the team doesn't yet acknowledge the project may become a joint venture, nor does the Giants' latest plan incorporate any of the Jets' design suggestions. The new drawings label the proposed stadium "Giants Stadium" and the surrounding plaza "Giants Plaza."

    "Clearly, the plan the Giants gave is dramatically different than the one given to the authority by Jets," said Carl Goldberg, chairman of the sports authority, the state agency that operates the Meadowlands Sports Complex. "They have different visions."

    Goldberg said yesterday the sports authority would return the Giants' plans because they lacked details about parking, traffic management and engineering, which the authority needs to continue its evaluation.

    But by sending back the plans, state officials said, the sports authority also was telling the Giants to work more closely with the Jets before making another submission.

    "When you start a partnership, there will be disagreements," acting Gov. Richard Codey said. "But these two teams need to work harder, meet more often and spend more time in those meetings to get this done."

    According to both teams' plans, the new stadium would go in between the current stadium and the Meadowlands Racetrack, but they disagree on key elements:


    Location of the Giants' practice facility: The Jets proposed moving the Giants training center and practice fields behind the Meadowlands Racetrack so as not to take up valuable land adjacent to the stadium with a use that would not generate revenue. The Giants prefer to keep the practice fields next to the stadium so there is a seamless flow between training facility and playing field.


    Design of the commercial development around the stadium: The Jets want to concentrate the development in two structures -- a hotel and conference center and another building that would house everything from the interactive NFL Experience to football-themed restaurants and shops and the teams' halls of fame. The Giants want to spread the retail facilities around the stadium in a series of buildings of various sizes.


    Connections to the adjacent Xanadu retail and entertainment complex: The Jets would integrate the stadium's commercial and retail space with Xanadu, connecting the two projects using a complex built above the planned rail station at the Meadowlands. The Giants propose a simple 400-foot walkway across Route 120.


    The size of the stadium: The Jets propose a 90,000-seat stadium, while the Giants remain committed to an 80,000-seat structure.


    Giants Chief Executive John Mara declined to comment specifically on his team's plans.

    "I'm not going to confirm what we have and have not submitted," he said, "other than to say we've been working closely with the sports authority for some time, submitting various plans to them on a regular basis, and we will continue to do so."

    Jets Chief Executive Jay Cross is on vacation this week and has not seen the Giants' latest proposal. Matt Higgins, a Jets spokesman, declined to comment on the Giants' plans.

    The two teams have shared Giants Stadium since 1984. Until last week, the Jets were officially committed to moving to New York. But plans to move to the West Side of Manhattan collapsed in June and the team has said it would prefer to stay in New Jersey in a shared stadium, rather than build its own home at an alternative New York site in Queens.

    The Giants remain a step ahead of the Jets because the team has already signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with the state to build an $800 million stadium in the Meadowlands.

    However, that agreement carries certain obligations that are becoming increasingly burdensome to the team.

    For example, unless the Giants receive the Jets' approval for a new stadium and reach an agreement with the developers of Xanadu on a traffic plan by Sept. 15, the state has the right to tear up the MOU.

    Also, since the Giants have signed an MOU and have begun a formal approval process, the sports authority expects the team's plans to be more detailed than the conceptual proposal the Jets submitted last week.

    "I was looking for a much higher level and complete submission from the Giants," Goldberg said. "The Jets wanted to demonstrate their commitment to the state in a conceptual plan. The Giants were moving forward in a process that would lead to a master plan approval, and a lot higher level of detail was anticipated."

  13. #28

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    Giants face 3 obstacles to getting stadium done

    Friday, August 26, 2005

    By JOHN BRENNAN
    STAFF WRITER

    The New York Giants are supposed to work out agreements for their $800 million stadium plan by Sept. 15 with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, with the New York Jets, and with the developers of the nearby Xanadu project.
    Only three weeks shy of that deadline, the Giants are a resounding 0-for-3.

    That sobering reality induced acting Governor Codey and Giants executives to meet at the National Football League team's offices Tuesday night. Although both sides said Wednesday the discussions were cordial, numerous obstacles remain as the clock ticks toward the end of Codey's tenure.

    "It was a friendly meeting, but we still have disagreements on how to get this thing resolved," said Giants Vice President John Mara, who was joined at the meeting by colleague Steve Tisch. "I'm not sure where we go from here."

    The Giants have run into difficulty on each of three fronts:

    New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority officials have been critical of what they term insufficient progress being made by the Giants' stadium design team.

    Though the Jets' dream of moving to Manhattan's West Side was extinguished two months ago, the team still has yet to commit to joining the Giants in a new Meadowlands facility. Jets executives were in Queens, their previous home, on Tuesday afternoon to listen to a new pitch from elected officials there.

    Talks between the Giants and Xanadu developers Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali have broken down over whether Xanadu would be allowed to open on Giants game days. The club went to court Tuesday in an effort to get a judge to enforce such a ban.

    No one wants to speculate on what will happen if the team doesn't meet the mid-September target date, part of a memorandum of understanding signed on April 14 during a triumphant news conference at 29-year-old Giants Stadium.

    Either the Giants or the state could walk away from the deal next month if the three agreements are not in place. That could lead to a revival of a long-running dispute over how much renovation would be necessary on the current stadium to make it "state of the art," as required by the Giants' lease.

    Codey is intent on making a stadium deal part of his legacy, and Giants officials seem reluctant to find out whether gubernatorial candidates Jon Corzine or Doug Forrester would be as eager to cooperate with the Giants on a new stadium.

    "I want to have something done by [Sept. 15]," Codey said. "I want everybody to work things out and compromise. I'd say I'm still optimistic."

    Codey was joined at Tuesday's meeting by New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Chairman Carl Goldberg.

    "I would say that the Giants understand, without any ambiguity, what the expectation of the governor is as far as the content of the documents we need to move into the master planning process," said Goldberg, a prominent real estate developer.

    Goldberg and sports authority President George Zoffinger expressed disappointment early this month with the quality of the Giants' design work. The Jets, meanwhile, recently submitted a preliminary plan for 90,000-seat stadium that wowed state officials with its retail and entertainment concepts throughout the 75-acre site.

    But Mara said the Giants' plans remain on schedule.

    "Our developers and architects will have a submission next month that is fully compliant with what the state wants," Mara said.

    That submission, however, is unlikely to include much input from the Jets as long as they continue flirting with Queens.

    Does that mean if the Jets decide to stay in New Jersey, that the design work has to start all over again?

    "I don't see why we would have to do that," Mara said. "We've been working on this for close to a year, and we've spent millions of dollars for a seating bowl and other concepts. We can't start over now."

    Talks with Mills/Mack-Cali have floundered over the Giants' assertion that traffic on game days would be nightmarish if Xanadu patrons mingled with the 80,000 Giants fans.

    "It's obvious that we are at an impasse with them," Mara said. "It's equally obvious that there are a lot of balls up in the air right now."

    E-mail: brennan@northjersey.com




  14. #29
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Traffic WOULD be hellish on those days, but asking a huge mall to shut down all day for a 3 hour game? They must be joking.

    This looks like an initial request that they will scale back to some agreement on parking/traffic control.


    It is not like traffic is great along route 3 any busy day, let alone after a game lets out...

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge
    Traffic WOULD be hellish on those days, but asking a huge mall to shut down all day for a 3 hour game? They must be joking.

    This looks like an initial request that they will scale back to some agreement on parking/traffic control.


    It is not like traffic is great along route 3 any busy day, let alone after a game lets out...
    The Meadowlands is in Bergen County, Bergen County enforces Blue laws. All the malls in Bergen County are closed on Sundays. That would leave the place open for Football fan parking.

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