EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are willing to
work out an agreement with the Jets to share ownership of a new
$750 million stadium at the Meadowlands if the Jets' plans to build
a stadium on the New York City's West Side fall apart.
"Our preference all along has been to play in a building with
the Jets,'' Giants chief operating officer John K. Mara said
Tuesday. "This is not a risk-free proposition, coming up with $750
million and financing the stadium.''
The advantage of having the Jets share in the ownership and play
in the same stadium would be that the teams would not compete for
money from advertisers and suite owners.
"If the teams are competing in different buildings, you're
fighting for that money,'' Mara said.
The new, 80,000-seat stadium for the Giants is expected to be
ready for the 2009 season.
A call to the Jets offices seeking comment was not immediately
returned Tuesday afternoon.
The Jets' bid to build their own stadium ran into a roadblock
Monday when a New York state board rejected a plan to build a $2
billion stadium in Manhattan. Lawmakers on the state Public
Authorities Control Board indicated it would not approve the $300
million in funding for the stadium.
The three-member state board -- comprised of representatives for
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Gov. George Pataki and Senate
Majority Leader Joseph Bruno -- shot down the funding in a vote late
Monday afternoon. The board's actions must be unanimous, and only
Pataki's representative voted yes.
Mara said he has spoken with Jets chief Jay Cross within the
last few weeks and said the two men plan to speak again soon, at
which time Mara expects to discuss the possibility of the two teams
sharing the new stadium.
Still to be resolved, however, is the question of when the
massive Xanadu shopping and entertainment complex near the new
stadium will be open. The Giants want the facility to either be
closed or drastically limited on game days; a court hearing on
litigation involving the Giants, the Xanadu developers and the New
Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is scheduled for June 17.
"We can work as hard as we want, but if we don't make an
agreement with Xanadu and the developers, we're back to square
one,'' Mara said.