EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants and
New York Jets broke ground Wednesday on the first stadium to be jointly
owned by two NFL teams and unveiled how architects plan to make two
competing teams feel at home in a $1.3 billion stadium.
"Ensuring that the stadium would feel like home to both teams
and both groups of fans was our goal and also one of the biggest
challenges in the design of the stadium," said Steve Tisch,
chairman and executive vice president of the Giants.
To do that, the stadium will feature an eight-story mega
display, called the "Great Wall," with 400-foot-long by
40-foot-high panels featuring either team's logo or neutral colors
for non-football events.
Tisch, Giants president and CEO John Mara and Jets chairman and
CEO Woody Johnson unveiled the design at a ceremony also attended
by New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine and NFL commissioner Roger
The yet unnamed building, for which owners are still working on
a naming-rights deal, will host 20 NFL games each season -- more
than any football stadium in the country.
Constructed next to the existing Giants Stadium, the new field
is expected to open for the 2010 season and seat 82,500 in a
bowl design, where seats in the front row are 46 feet from the
sidelines. Fans will also find a 300,000-square-foot outdoor plaza
While Wednesday's event marked the official groundbreaking,
infrastructure work is already under way on the open-air facility
at the Meadowlands sports complex.
Along with the design of the building, planners have been
working to make access to the facility easier. Lanes into the
Meadowlands will increase to more than 40 from the existing 16 and
a new rail facility will connect the stadium to New York's Penn
Station through Secaucus beginning in February 2009.
The teams cleared a large hurdle last month when each completed
separate $650 million financing deals. CitiCorp is financing the
Jets' portion, while investment banks Goldman Sachs and Lehman
Brothers are financing the Giants' deal.
The teams also received a financial boost earlier this year when
NFL owners approved $300 million in loans for stadium work.
The teams announced plans to build a stadium together two years
ago, after the Jets' plans for a stadium on Manhattan's West Side
fell through. The Giants had been planning to build a new stadium
Now, the Giants will also construct a new training facility at
the Meadowlands, while the Jets are building their own in Florham
The stadium is one of several new major sports facilities
opening in the New York metropolitan area. New homes are also being
built for the New York Mets, New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils.
The Devils hockey team is leaving Continental Airlines Arena at
the Meadowlands for the Prudential Center, opening in downtown
Newark in October.