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Giants, Jets reach deal for new New Jersey home

September 29, 2005

By Joan Gralla

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Football League’s two New
York-area franchises on Thursday said they had agreed to
replace the aging stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands they
now share with a new $800 million facility that will seat more
than 80,000 fans.

“The Giants and Jets will be equal partners in the creation
and construction of the stadium that could be ready for the
2009 season,” the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
said in a statement.

The agency owns the site, located just west of New York
City.

“Jets and Giants fans will experience a state-of-the-art
facility that will feature new fan amenities, better
sightlines, wider concourses and more concessions,” the two
teams said in a statement.

The New Jersey agency will both buy the land for new
training complexes and build them, the teams said.

The Giants and Jets have yet to finalize the new stadium’s
design, according to a source close to one of the teams, who
declined to be named.

Spokesmen for the teams were not immediately available.

The new deal could finally kill the Jets’ bid to return to
New York City.

The Jets’ attempt to build a new $1.9 billion Manhattan
stadium died this spring when the state rejected their
financing plan.

But in the past few weeks the Jets, who have played in the
Meadowlands for about 20 years, met with city officials about
building a new home in New York City borough of Queens.

A spokesman for Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg had no
immediate comment.

New Jersey Acting Gov. Richard Codey has pushed hard to win
both teams for his state, including replacing his negotiator.

The Giants, who have called the Meadowlands home since
1976, in April preliminarily agreed to build a new $750 million
stadium there.

Some aspects of that deal were rolled into the new one,
including the state’s promise to repay $120 million of debt
sold for the existing stadium.

But the accord between the Giants and the state was delayed
by the team’s fight with the developers of a $1.3 billion
retail and entertainment complex being built on the same site.

The Giants feared the project, Xanadu, would draw too many
motorists to an area already known for fierce traffic jams.

And industry experts said the Giants did not want their new
restaurants and shops to face competition from Xanadu’s
offerings.

Referring to the teams and New Jersey, Xanadu’s developers,
Laurence Siegel, Mills Corp chairman, and Mitchell Hersh,
Mack-Cali Realty Corp. chairman, said: “We look forward to
working with them to transform the Meadowlands into a
one-of-a-kind destination for entertainment, office, hotel and
sports.”




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