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MetLife Stadium

Aerial View
Copyright 2010 by Aerial Views Publishing

  Venue Resources  
Address 50 State Hightway 120
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Phone
Official Website
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Giants Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in East Rutherford

  The Facility  
Date Opened 2010
Ownership
(Management)
Giants Stadium LLC and Jets Development LLC
(New York Jets / New York Giants)
Surface FieldTurf
Cost of Construction $1.6 billion
Former Names Meadowlands Stadium
(2010-2011)
MetLife
(2011-Present)
Naming Rights MetLife purchased the naming rights for the next 25 years for $17 Million per Year beginning in 2011.
Architect Skanska AB
360 Architecture
  Other Facts  
Tenants New York Giants
(NFL) (2010-Future)
New York Jets
(NFL) (2010-Future)
Population Base 19,000,000
On Site Parking 24,800
Nearest Airport Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Retired Numbers #1 Ray Flaherty
#4 "Tuffy" Leemans
#7 Mel Hein
#11 Phil Simms
#14 Y.A. Title
#16 Frank Gifford
#32 Al Blozis
#40 Joe Morrison
#42 Charlie Conerly
#50 Ken Strong
#56 Lawrence Taylor

Championships 1st

XXI
1987
2nd

XXV
1991
3rd

XLII
2008
4th

XLVI
2012

  Seating  
Capacity 82,500
Luxury Suites 200 Suites
Club Seats Unknown
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1993 584,165 94% 7.2%
1994 583,857 94% -0.1%
1995 532,453 86% -8.8%
1996 552,870 89% 3.8%
1997 573,241 92% 3.7%
1998 579,708 92% -1%
1999 623,952 99% 7.63%
2000 624,085 98.2% 0.6%

2001 2002 2003 2004
627,985 629,211 628,960 629,874

2005 2006 2007 2008
628,519 628,910 629,848 632,554

2009 2010 2011 2012
629,615 632,156 635,800 643,964

1993-2009 Attendance figures are for Giants Stadium.

Sources: Mediaventures

NEW JERSEY, NFL TEAMS AGREE ON REVISED DEAL
April 6, 2006
Copyright 2006 MediaVentures

The New York Giants and Jets have reached a new deal with New Jersey for construction of a new $1 billion stadium at the Meadowlands. The agreement allows construction to begin as planned next spring with an opening in 2010.

The need for discussions came after new Gov. Jon Corzine decided to reopen an agreement reached among the teams and NFL by previous Gov. Richard Codey and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

The new agreement calls for the teams to pay a combined $5 million in annual rent and $1.3 million in taxes for the 75 acres needed for the stadium and training complex for the Giants. A commercial project will also be built on the land and the tax payment will increase once the retail and commercial projects have been built. The rent was unchanged from the previous agreement.

The state gave up all revenues from a naming rights deal and it also was released from a requirement to move utility lines and roads at a cost of $30 million. The state would have gotten one-third of the net naming rights proceeds above $24 million under the previous agreement. The teams won permission to sell naming rights to the entire complex and not just the stadium.

Corzine had been intent to putting a roof on the new stadium and having the teams pay for it, but as negotiations continued, he backed off that plan.

The state must also reach an agreement with East Rutherford community officials who were angered by the previous agreement that cut them out of new taxes they would enjoy with the enlarged complex.

EAST RUTHERFORD TO BENEFIT FROM NEW STADIUM DEAL
April 20, 2006
Copyright 2006 MediaVentures

The newly-renegotiated lease between New Jersey and the New York Giants and Jets for a new stadium is expected to boost East Rutherford's coffers. The community now gets $1.3 million in payments in lieu of taxes from the Meadowlands space and under the new lease it is scheduled to get about $3.3 million.

Mayor James Cassella, who threatened to fight against the deal unless his community got more revenue from the enhanced property, said the payment seemed low. Cassella earlier said a fair payment would be closer to $10 million or $15 million.

In addition to the new stadium, the area will be getting a new Giants training facility, new restaurants and retail offerings.

The borough is seeking an appraiser to estimate how much the borough should gain from the new stadium and is expected to present its counter-offer within the next couple of weeks.

By RICHARD SANDOMIR
New York Times
Published: September 5, 2007

The new stadium the Jets and the Giants are scheduled to occupy in 2010 will be distinguished by an outer skin of aluminum louvers and by interior lighting that will switch colors depending on which team is playing at home.

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The changing colors green for the Jets, blue for the Giants reflect each teams desire to individualize the look of the 82,500-seat stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The teams current home, Giants Stadium, opened in 1976, but the Jets have long felt like a second-class tenant there since arriving in 1984. The louvers in the new stadium, which are arranged in various densities, may also reflect the teams colors.

Although construction has been going on at the site north and east of Giants Stadium since April, groundbreaking on the $1.3 billion stadium will take place today, with officials from both teams; the N.F.L., including Commissioner Roger Goodell; and the state expected to attend.

It is the newest local sports project after decades without construction: the Devils Newark arena will open next month; the Mets and the Yankees are building ballparks that are expected to open in 2009; construction of the Red Bulls stadium is underway in Harrison, N.J.; and the Nets still anticipate building an arena near downtown Brooklyn.

Since Giants Stadium opened, 22 stadiums have opened in the N.F.L., including the new Soldier Field, which involved building a new stadium inside the exterior of the old one.

Eight facilities are older than Giants Stadium. One of them, the Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium, is to be replaced by a $1 billion facility in 2009. Another, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., had a $295 million modernization that was completed without compromising its essence in 2003.

According to renderings of the Jets-Giants stadium obtained by The New York Times, giant red pylons at the north and east entrances will display videos of each team, depending on which one is playing.

A signature feature of the stadium which will be built in the shape of a rounded rectangle will be the massive Great Wall that will be partly visible through the louvers at the main entrance.

The wall will be 400 feet long and 40 feet high, showing panels of images that will rotate between photographic murals of the Giants and Jets on game days and different pictures for concerts and other events.

Inside, four 40-by-130-foot scoreboards will hang from each corner of the upper deck.

The sight lines will be similar to those at Giants Stadium, which seats a little over 80,000, but in some cases seats will be farther away because the new facility will have more than double the square footage. The stadium complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it will have four restaurants, nearly double the current 117 luxury suites, and 9,200 club seats, two club lounges, wider concourses and at least one hall of fame.

Just outside the stadium is the location for a railway station which connects the Meadowlands to the Pascack Valley Line of New Jersey Transit that is expected to be completed in 2009. The addition of the rail station is similar to the plan to bring a Metro-North stop to the new Yankee Stadium.

There will be numerous tailgating zones, and myriad options to buy food and merchandise in the plaza that will ring the stadium.

The Giants and the Jets are the only N.F.L. teams to share a stadium, but there was never a guarantee that they would build the new one together. For a time, the teams were on parallel tracks to the future.

The Giants planned to renovate Giants Stadium at a cost of $750 million. Meanwhile, the Jets stood fast to a $2.2 billion proposal to construct a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan that would have been an extension of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the main Olympic stadium if New York City had won the bid to play host to the 2012 Summer Games.

The Jets politically sensitive plan was attacked by Cablevision, owner of nearby Madison Square Garden, and was eventually spurned by the Public Authorities Control Board.

In September 2005, the teams signed an agreement to jointly develop the stadium in New Jersey, which was then estimated to cost $800 million.

The $1.3 billion cost to finance construction of the new stadium has the teams considering whether to require season-ticket holders to buy one-time personal seat licenses. The teams have already obtained a loan of $300 million from the leagues G-3 stadium financing program that must be repaid over 15 years from club seat revenues.

JETS-GIANTS CONSIDER NAMING RIGHTS DEAL
September 11, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The Giants and Jets are negotiating with a German financial titan for what could be a record-breaking sponsorship deal at the Meadowlands Stadium.

The naming rights deal with Allianz would put $25 million to $30 million a year in the teams' pockets for the next 10 to 20 years, said two people close to the negotiations who requested anonymity because the talks are confidential.

Allianz also had strong ties to the Nazis during World War II, providing insurance to death camps such as Auschwitz and denying payments to Jewish clients, instead allowing the German government to collect the funds.

The firm's past could evoke strong reactions, especially among Holocaust survivors and their families, but it has made efforts to atone for its crimes, according to Jewish leaders. "Allianz has a history, and not a very noble history," said Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international Jewish affairs for the American Jewish Committee.

But "based on what Allianz has done to address its history it should be no more and no less entitled to such a designation than any other company," Baker said.

Allianz participates in the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, which has paid about $300 million to some 50,000 individuals, among other restitution programs, said Peter Lefkin, a spokesman for Allianz.

Alice McGillion, a spokeswoman for the Giants and Jets, said the teams' researchers "found that Holocaust experts, former government officials and leading Jewish and survivor groups believe that Allianz has made determined efforts towards restitution and continues to do so today."

Carl Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns the land where the stadium is being built, said he understands that not everyone would welcome Allianz as a stadium sponsor.

"For members of the Jewish faith, this is always a very personal kind of decision," said Goldberg, who is Jewish. "I remember when I was a child my father came to the conclusion that it was not appropriate for our family to buy a German car. But that was in the 1960s. Now it's 2008."

The Tisch family, which co-owns the Giants, is "hugely invested in Jewish philanthropy, not only in the United States but around the world, and they're very sensitive to these kinds of issues," Goldberg said.

The sports authority can bar a naming rights deal with an alcohol or tobacco company or a firm of "questionable repute," but Allianz does not qualify as such a firm, Goldberg said.

Munich-based Allianz, the world's largest insurer, with $125 billion in revenues and 167,000 employees already sponsors a PGA tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., as well as Formula 1 and an arena in Munich. (New York Daily News)

JETS/GIANTS TO LOOK ELSEWHERE FOR NAMING DEAL
September 18, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The name of a German firm with past Nazi ties will not appear atop the new football stadium being built in the Meadowlands.

The Giants and the Jets broke off naming rights negotiations with the Munich-based Allianz, Mark Lamping, president and chief executive of the teams' new stadium, said.

The announcement came amid a storm of controversy over the firm's World War II activities, which included insuring concentration camps and refusing to pay claims owed to Jewish clients, instead turning the funds over to the Nazis.

The world's largest insurance firm, Allianz was in talks to pay $25 million to $30 million a year to sponsor the teams' $1.6 billion stadium, due to open in 2010.

A spokesman for Allianz, Peter Lefkin, confirmed the breakdown of talks, but declined to comment further.

Lefkin earlier noted the firm participates in the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims and other restitution programs.

The teams weighed business factors - such as the status and likely future of negotiations - as well as the reaction to Allianz's previous Nazi ties, Lamping said.

"It's fair to say that the reaction was strong and we certainly noticed that and it may have been a little stronger than we had expected," Lamping said.

Steven Korenblat, an attorney who represented Citigroup in the Mets' naming rights deal, predicted the Giant and Jets would end up landing a similarly record-breaking sponsorship deal. The Mets and the Nets have each signed naming rights deals valued at $20 million annually, the current record. Barclays Bank is to sponsor the Nets' new arena to be built in Brooklyn.

"I believe the Giants' and Jets' new stadium is going to be a magnificent venue and will attract a top tier sponsor, I have no doubt about that," Korenblat said. (Newark Star Ledger)

AMENITIES ADDED TO MEADOWLANDS STADIUM
November 6, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The new football stadium in the Meadowlands will have accessories beyond the luxury suites and the large video boards in all four corners.

It will also be surrounded by a fenced-in security perimeter 100 feet to 150 feet wide. And the bottom of the exterior walls will be blast-resistant, George Heinlein, the principal architect, said in a telephone interview from Kansas City, Mo.

"We have reinforced all the column bases," Heinlein said. "If somebody does get past that first line and up against the building - if they were to carry a bomb in a backpack or something like that and set it off - we have resistance at the base of the building." Heinlein said the National Football League increased security requirements after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The secured perimeter will double as a plaza for ticketed fans, according to Heinlein and Mark Lamping, the executive supervising the construction. The stadium for the Giants and the Jets is 55 percent complete, Lamping said, ahead of schedule for its 2010 opening. As many as 1,600 workers provide a daily cacophony of mechanical grinding, metallic thumping and high-pitched beeping amid constant clouds of swirling dust. "We're in great shape," said Lamping, president and chief executive of the Meadowlands Stadium Company LLC "A lot's been done. But we still have a long way to go."

The cost, according to the Giants' president, John Mara, and the Jets' owner Robert Johnson IV, will be about $1.6 billion - up from the $1.3 billion estimate of last year. Both teams should sell all their seats and suites, Mara said, despite the present economic crisis. "The process has slowed down a little bit," Mara said of suite sales, "but I don't think in a significant manner. We're well over halfway sold."

Johnson said he expected no lack of demand due to either the economic downturn or the competition from the two new baseball stadiums opening next spring in New York and the hockey arena for the Devils that opened in Newark last season.

"You have different buyers," Johnson said in a telephone interview. "The baseball and hockey buyers are different than the football buyers. I haven't personally felt any of that, that there's competition." The new stadium will have about 200 suites, compared with 118 in Giants Stadium, Lamping said.

Heinlein, the principal architect of 360 Architecture, said his design blends the best of 21st-century amenities with the ancient ambience of the Colosseum in Rome. His structure will not duplicate what he says are mistakes in stadiums in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Dallas. "We have lost our way," Heinlein said of football stadium design. He said architects try to put too many people up too high on the sidelines and have abandoned end-zone grandstands to allow views of city skylines.

That concept works for ballparks, Heinlein said, because baseball is a leisurely summer sport in which fans "get up, they mosey around." But football, he said, "is a gladiator sport" better presented when a big crowd surrounds the rectangular field.

When sound cannot escape, he said, it is a home-field advantage. "You create intimidation," Heinlein said. "You lose a tremendous amount of energy inside the stadium when you open almost the entire end zone up."

He cited Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where one end zone is almost entirely void of seats. "I think they will regret doing that over time," Heinlein said.

So the Meadowlands Stadium will have 82,500 seats rising high on all four sides. Although the top rows will be 30 feet farther from the field than in the current 80,242-seat stadium, Heinlein said, they will not be as distant as the highest seats in other new stadiums with smaller capacities.

Another problem of modern stadium design, Heinlein said, is that extra decks accommodate more luxury boxes at low levels. To keep upper decks as close to the field, he said, architects compromise the sightlines of the lower decks.

That makes it harder for people to see over those in front of them. "The rake of the lower bowl is sometimes decreased slightly so that they can keep the upper deck where they want it and be able to put as much premium product in the middle section," Heinlein said. The Meadowlands Stadium, he said, will have "a very steep lower bowl." Heinlein said he had spent most of his career designing arenas for basketball and hockey, and that some of those newer buildings had already been renovated.

The problem is the luxury boxes, he said, which do not sell as well as predicted. "My gut is telling me we're going to have to try to figure out a way to give the buildings back to the fans," he said.

Heinlein designed Chicago's United Center and said he went back to remove 18 suites and turn that space into seating that cost less. "You have to have something for every revenue stream in the marketplace," he said.

But Heinlein said he did not foresee this problem in the New York area. "New York is obviously a different economic base," Heinlein said. "It's strong from a suite perspective." (New York Times)

GIANTS STILL HAVE PSLs FOR SALE
June 4, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The New York Giants say they have nearly 4,000 personal seat license slots in the team's new stadium still up for sale and are confident they will be sold despite having offered them to their 140,000-strong waiting list.

The seats are club seats as all non-club seats have been sold. The Giants say they have sold 95 percent of the seats with 90 percent of their current season ticket holders purchasing PSLs. Some have bought more than their current allotment, some less. Some have upgraded to more expensive seats, some have downgraded. Each seat in the new stadium that opens next year will require a seat license for Giants games. The team says 90 percent of their season ticket holders have purchased seats in the new venue.

The Coach's Club seats come with a PSL price tag of $20,000, a per-game ticket price of $700 per game and a long list of amenities. About 500 of the 2,000 seats remain for sale.

The $20,000 PSL seats with a $160 per game price behind the visitor's bench have sold out. The remaining available clubs seats are in Mezzanine A, between the 20s, with a $12,500 PSL and $500 per game price, and Mezzanine B, in the four corners, with a $7,500 PSL and $400 per game price.

More than half of the 200-plus suites have been sold.

The team has also changed its rules on luxury suites. Under the previous plan, suite buyers had to lease the suites for both Giants and Jets games. Now buyers can choose one team's games or the other.

JETS, GIANTS HAVE INVENTORY TO SELL
September 3, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The economy is taking its toll on teams with long histories of sell-outs, including the New York Giants and Jets which have tickets available for their final season in the 80,242-seat Giants Stadium and have new seats to sell in the teams' new 82,500-seat venue.

The Giants, which still have seats to sell for some games this season, have not found buyers for about 3,000 club season tickets for 2010, some in the best locations at the highest prices.

The Giants said they had leased slightly more than 60 percent of the approximately 200 suites, totaling about 4,000 seats.

That sales figure has moved only marginally from the Giants' report from almost a year ago of more than 50 percent.

And the Jets lag behind the Giants. They said they still had "a few thousand" season tickets remaining for 2009 and were advertising half-season packages.

As for 2010 in the new stadium, the Jets are not providing specific sales figures for suites, club seats with personal seat licenses or nonclub seats because, they said, it was too early to know.

September 24, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Meadowlands Stadium Co., the firm formed by the New York Giants and Jets to build a new stadium, has picked the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to provide event and site services for the venue. The agency also provides services for the existing Giants Stadium. The Authority will employ more than 1,000 people for game-day duties including security, seating and ticketing. Terms of the deal are not known.

TAX ASSESSOR TO LOOK AT NEW GIANTS/JETS STADIUM
October 15, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - Local governments believe they should share in the wealth that will be generated by a new Giants/Jets stadium in the Meadowlands and they are asking their tax assessors to determine the value of the venue that will cost $1.6 billion to build.

The stadium, which is scheduled to open next year, is in East Rutherford, and the borough wants to collect taxes that any private business in its borders would have to pay. But the stadium sits on land owned by the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority, a tax-exempt organization created by the state in 1971 to run the sports arenas in the Meadowlands and elsewhere in New Jersey.

For years, the authority has collected rent from the teams to use its publicly owned stadium, and payments of $1.3 million a year in lieu of taxes. In turn, the authority has made payments to East Rutherford in lieu of taxes that cover the football stadium as well as the Izod Center and the Meadowlands Racetrack.

This year, the authority will pay the borough $5.97 million, which is equal to 21 percent of what the borough would have collected if the land were privately owned. The first annual payments of $466,000 started in 1977, the year after the sports complex opened, and have been renegotiated every decade or so.

Now, however, the Jets and the Giants are building their own stadium, team offices and practice facilities, most of them in East Rutherford. Because the buildings are privately owned, James Cassella, the mayor of East Rutherford, said the borough deserves more than what it has been receiving, a point he plans to make in negotiations with the authority.

Negotiations are unlikely to begin until November, when the next governor is chosen. Borough officials would like to deal directly with the Jets and the Giants. But that is unlikely because the authority, to keep the teams from moving, agreed in 2006 to let the teams continue making the payments of $5 million in rent and $1.3 million in lieu of taxes. That deal is separate from the authority's agreement with East Rutherford.

To bolster their positions, East Rutherford officials point to the sports authority's agreement with Xanadu, a privately owned shopping and entertainment center on the its property. After its scheduled opening next year, Xanadu will pay the borough $1.8 million for each of the first two years before payments rise to nearly $10 million after the fifth year.

Then there are the businesses not on authority land. The Federal Reserve Bank pays the most property tax to East Rutherford, $2,677,642.51 in 2008. Two real estate developments paid more than $1 million each last year.

The Mets and the Yankees also make payments in lieu of taxes in New York City, the payments roughly equal to the debt payments the teams have to pay on their bonds. The owners of Madison Square Garden have been exempted from paying property taxes since 1982, costing New York City hundreds of millions of dollars.

COURT KEEPS PSL LAWSUIT ALIVE
December 3, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

New York - A New York court has refused to dismiss a breach-of-contract lawsuit by a Giants fan who claims he was forced to buy personal seat licenses for the team's new stadium. Three other claims were thrown out.

U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan dismissed antitrust, consumer-fraud and unjust enrichment claims by Harold Oshinsky, while raising questions as to whether Oshinsky's contract claim will survive. Oshinsky, a retired businessman, has held season tickets for both National Football League teams for 24 years.

Oshinsky claims it's unfair to force fans to pay as much as $20,000 for the right to buy each Giants seat and up to $25,000 to buy each Jets seat. The teams are using the licenses to help pay for a nearby stadium that will open for the 2010 season adjacent to the current venue.

Sheridan said Oshinsky, who sued the teams in March, can pursue his contract claim through the pre-trial gathering of evidence. He said Oshinsky may depose three witnesses within 60 days and conduct other discovery to help build his case.

Oshinsky seeks to proceed as a group, or class-action, lawsuit.

In his 19-page opinion, Sheridan said Oshinsky claims he has two contracts with the teams: a right to buy tickets to all pre-season and regular season home games at an established location; and an implied "renewal right" to continue buying this bundle of tickets in perpetuity.

This alleged renewal right is the "central feature" in the dispute, according to the judge. The issue is "not whether renewal rights can exist at all, but whether they exist under the particular facts of this case," wrote the judge.

By buying six contiguous Giants seats in Section 130 and four contiguous Jets seats in Section 131 for the past 24 years, Oshinsky "may possess a valuable implied right to renew his season tickets at both the existing stadium and the new stadium," according to the opinion.

At this stage, it would be "inappropriate" to determine whether periodic disclaimers on Giants and Jets tickets has "waived or forfeited his renewal rights," the judge wrote.

While the teams argue that the "express licensing agreement on the back of individual tickets trumps any renewal rights implied through the parties' conduct," Sheridan said he wouldn't rule yet on that question.

"The licensing agreement on the back of individual tickets deals only with an individual game; it says nothing of the separate right to renew season tickets to all games," Sheridan wrote. That agreement "may not bear up on long term renewal rights," according to the judge.

NFL TO ALLOW NEW GIANTS/JETS STADIUM TO BID FOR SUPER BOWL
December 24, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - Concerns about bad weather and cold temperatures have dictated the NFL's decision making on Super Bowl locations, but the league is apparently warming to the idea of hosting a game at the new Giants/Jets stadium under construction in the Meadowlands.

NFL owners will consider hosting a game in the 82,500-seat venue after the 2013 season.

The $1.6 billion facility, next to the current Giants Stadium, is 92 percent complete. The preliminary bids must be submitted by April 1. League owners will announce the winning site in late May.

Other cities bidding for the game in February of 2014 are Miami, Phoenix and Tampa. This season's Super Bowl is to be in Miami, followed by Dallas, Indianapolis and New Orleans.

Mark Lamping, the president and chief executive officer of the Meadowlands Stadium Co., said the average temperature in the region is 32 degrees in early February and that the NFL waived, for this bid, its rule that an outdoor Super Bowl site must have an average daily temperature of 50 degrees or that a venue be enclosed by a roof.

Lamping said fans attending the game might be warmed by seat cushions that generate heat and that many enclosed areas behind and beneath the seats of the new stadium would be heated.

He said the Meadowlands bid could be aided by the large hotel space in nearby New York, the relative compactness of the city for parties and other events and the new rail link from Midtown Manhattan to the Meadowlands, located west of the Hudson River in Bergen County, N.J.

Lamping said the new stadium does not have a roof, either fixed or retractable, because it would have cost another $400 million to add it.

The NFL's six-member Super Bowl Advisory Committee approved the Meadowlands application to bid on the game, but all bidders, after preliminary submissions in April, must make formal presentations at the league meetings in Dallas from May 24 through 26.

COIN TOSS DECIDES MEADOWLANDS STADIUM OPENER
March 18, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - A coin toss decided that the New York Giants will open a new $1.6 billion Meadowlands stadium on Sunday, Sept. 12 leaving the Jets to host Monday Night Football the next evening.

The league's decision follows the suggestion from the Jets that a coin toss decide which team would play the opener. There was, in fact, a coin toss, but the Jets cried foul because neither team was there to witness it. The Jets had suggested holding the toss a at the new stadium as part of a media event that could include fans.

"An NFL coin toss has a few fundamental elements that are missing here, most notably the presence of the teams involved," Jets owner Woody Johnson said in a statement after the league announced its decision. "That's how it's always done in the league, whether it's determining the order of the draft or deciding who's going to kick off the game."

Johnson said the NFL initially rejected his suggestion of a coin flip when a decision couldn't be made after both teams presented cases on why they should play the first home game.

"Then, I was told on Friday that a coin toss had taken place at the league office and that the Jets had lost," Johnson said. "We rejected a process in which neither team was present. The league departed from our time-honored tradition and declined the opportunity to set the matter straight with a transparent process."

The NFL said commissioner Roger Goodell flipped the coin with his staff on March 12 at the league's headquarters in New York. According to the NFL's constitution and bylaws, the commissioner is responsible for determining the playing schedule.

The Jets will host the first game at the new stadium - a preseason matchup - in August.

GIANTS, JETS STILL WORKING ON PSL SALES
March 18, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The New York Giants and Jets still have seats for sale in their new stadium scheduled to open this year.

The Giants say they are about 1,500 licenses short of selling out but have been at that level for at least two months. Pat Hanlon, a team spokesman, said that sales had not hit a wall and were expected to pick up soon, around the time of minicamps and the draft, as they did last year. The Jets are not saying exactly where they are in the sales process other than to say it is going well.

"We expected a drop-off after the season, but they've kept up at a strong pace," said Matt Higgins, the Jets' executive vice president for business operations. "We're not putting out claims that we'll sell out tomorrow, but we expect to sell out before the season."

Higgins said that about a month ago, the team repriced about 6,000 seats in sections straddling the goal line, cutting $10,000 licenses to $7,500 and $6,000 each. "We're almost sold out of them," he said.

The team's in-house sales force is seeking PSL buyers beyond its base of season-ticket holders and its waiting list. Higgins said that sales people had been cold-calling individual and corporate buyers.

Higgins said the team had sold out of its 27,000 upper-deck seats, which were available without licenses, and cost $95 to $125 per game for season tickets. But some of those seats have opened up as fans upgraded to licensed seats nearby when those ticket prices were cut.

The Giants attached a license to all 82,500 seats.

FIRST SPORTS EVENT HELD AT NEW GIANTS/JETS STADIUM
April 15, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - Fans had mixed reviews of the first event held at the New Meadowlands Stadium that will be the home of the New York Giants and Jets. The event was a high school lacrosse match that drew a small crowd.

While many liked the roomier feel, others complained about traffic and signage.

Construction on some areas of the stadium was still underway and concession stand operators worked to become accustomed to their new environment.

Known for now as Meadowlands Stadium, the venue's managers are working to find a corporate sponsor for the venue. Whether that will happen before the first NFL kickoff is not known.

"It's hard to predict - it could (happen before the NFL season), but you don't know," stadium CEO and president Mark Lamping said during a media tour of the venue. "One thing we're not doing, we haven't given ourselves any arbitrary deadline, where we have to get a deal done by a certain time. Then I think we'd probably end up doing deals that we'd look back on and wonder why we did it."

Lamping said the stadium company is continuing to have discussions with "certainly more than five" potential candidates. The stadium already has four cornerstone sponsors - Bud Light, MetLife, Pepsi and Verizon - but the grand daddy will be the title sponsor.

NFL TO HOST 2014 SUPER BOWL IN NEW JERSEY
May 27, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The NFL has reversed a long-standing policy of not holding Super Bowls in snow-prone venues unless they were covered and awarded the 2014 game to the Meadowlands Stadium.

The decision was made during an owners meeting in Irving, Texas.

The bid was awarded on the fourth ballot, which required a simple majority after three rounds of voting that required approval from 75 percent of the owners. After each of the first two ballots, one bidder was eliminated: Phoenix and South Florida, respectively.

Encouraging remarks by Commissioner Roger Goodell in February had led even backers of the rival Tampa and Miami bids to concede the Meadowlands Stadium's frontrunner status before the vote. Phoenix dropped its bid, but it remained on the ballot.

The Miami bid was considered the longest shot because Goodell had suggested several times that its aging stadium was no longer Super Bowl-worthy without hundreds of millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements.

Several ownership groups, including those in Miami, Houston, Buffalo and Cincinnati, had pronounced the New Jersey-New York proposal as a huge weather gamble.

But others, such as Dallas owner Jerry Jones and colleagues in Atlanta and New England, as well as New Jersey real estate executive and Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, had endorsed the Meadowlands bid well before the vote.

Much of the credit for the NFL’s decision was given to Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets and a co-owner of the stadium.

"Why not," Johnson said after the vote. "We play every other game in cold weather, rain and snow. Would I want to do it every year? Probably not. But 2014 sounds good."

The Giants and the Jets will not make any money directly off the Super Bowl, but the promise of hosting the game is likely to ratchet up interest for sponsorships and suite sales – which allow holders access to Super Bowl tickets – will probably increase.

The move is also expected to help the Jets and the Giants close a naming rights deal for the venue which is now known as the Meadowlands Stadium.

"Obviously it has a benefit," stadium CEO Mark Lamping said. "Although most companies that we've talked to, that we continue to talk to regarding naming rights, have always factored in that they assumed at some point in time we'd get a Super Bowl. So it confirms some assumptions."

Lamping said they have been in talks with "around five" possible title sponsors. While "nothing is imminent," he added, they're still hopeful they'll find the right partner.

With the current economic climate, executives have understandably been hesitant to jump into a deal far less lucrative than it would have been pre-recession. Hosting the 2014 championship, though, will be a helpful bargaining chip.

NJSEA SPENDS $1 MILLION ON NEW STADIUM TICKETS
June 3, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority spent nearly $1 million to buy prime tickets in the new Giants and Jets stadium in the Meadowlands and will make the tickets available for resale to VIPs.

Business partners, politicians and others associated with the agency will be able to buy the tickets from the authority, which plans a service fee to recoup costs, said John Samerjan, a spokesman. The agency, which neither owns nor manages the new stadium and is supposed to operate without taxpayer help, is asking lawmakers for $32.8 million to make up a funding shortfall at a time when state social services are being cut.

Dennis Robinson, the authority's president, said the purchases were made so the agency could keep tickets it controlled in the old stadium.

"In 2008 the Authority was forced to make a decision - either give up your seats forever potentially, or continue to purchase a reasonable amount of seats for business purposes," he said. "The decision had to be made on the spot."

The authority reserves the seats for use by sponsors of its other facilities, high-stakes horse bettors and people who are valuable to its business, Robinson said.

Revenue from nearby Izod Center and other facilities the authority manages paid for the seats, not taxpayers, Samerjan said. The agency will receive a management fee of about $700,000 from the new stadium, as well as reimbursement for staffing ticket sales, security and other services there, Robinson said.

The sports authority was set up in 1971 to build and run the state-owned Meadowlands Sports Complex, including Giants Stadium, and operates racetracks in the state. It is governed by a 16-person commission. All but three members are appointed to four-year terms by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate, according to the agency's website.

The authority plans to use the game tickets in much the same way, offering them to commissioners, suppliers, politicians and their constituents, Samerjan said. The seat licenses and tickets will be part of a wider Meadowlands examination by the governor that is expected to be done by June 30.

The Republican governor, who took office in January, is proposing $10 billion in spending cuts to tackle a record $10.7 billion budget gap. His plan includes reducing aid to public schools by $820 million and to municipalities by $445 million. Christie also is seeking to skip a $3 billion payment into the state pension fund.

For the 2010-2011 football season, the authority bought some of the best seats in the 82,000-seat stadium. Four Jets seats are in the "Great Hall Club" which carry a $25,000 license fee and are behind the visiting team's bench, according to the team's website.

The authority purchased 80 Jets seats in all, spending $524,000 on licenses and $131,600 on tickets for this year's 10 home games. They include 20 end-zone seats and 18 in a goal-line section on the Jets side of the field.

The 62 Giants seats cost $90,000 for tickets and $330,000 for seat licenses. Four of the Giants tickets run $400 per game each and include access to a special Mezzanine Club for refreshments and shelter.

"It's a continuation of a relationship that's existed for 35 years," said Pat Hanlon, a spokesman for the Giants.

The Giants and Jets imposed the seat license fees, a one- time charge to season-ticket holders, to raise about $360 million of the cost of the privately funded stadium.

Reports say of the 55,000 Jets licenses, 17,000 remained unsold. The unsold tickets include seats in the "Great Hall Club," said Bruce Speight, a Jets spokesman, who declined to confirm the report. The Giants have fewer than 1,500 licenses remaining, said Hanlon.

In addition to the tickets, the sports authority also has three luxury suites in the new stadium. Two are a result of the contract with the teams and the agency spent $275,000 to secure a third, according to the records.

June 17, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

The New York Giants held their first practice at the Meadowlands Stadium this week with about 10,000 fans watching on. The Giants must acclimate themselves to this new facility, where everything from the location of the play clock to the proximity of the fans to the field to the dynamics of how the wind swirls is a variable that can only be accounted for with experience. The Giants and the Jets play a preseason game Aug. 16.

Meadowlands Stadium HAS ITS OWN SECURITY DOGS
July 8, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - Officials at the Giants' and Jets' new stadium in the Meadowlands have purchased two bomb-sniffing dogs at $10,000 each after determining it was less expensive to buy rather than rent the canines, according to the New York Times.

Hiring a dog and a handler to work 40 hours a week year-round, the officials said, would have run $150,000 a year compared with the $75,000 it costs for the stadium to have two dogs of its own.

"I have never heard of anyone doing this," Vincent Henry, a security expert who has advised companies and police departments on antiterrorism tactics and serves as the director of the Homeland Security Management Institute at Long Island University, told the Times. "They are creating an additional layer of security and sending the message that security is not just something practiced on game day."

Since Rufus and Anja arrived, they have spent their days sniffing deliveries, from the turf that covers the field to the machines that boil the hot dogs. They have leapt up four feet onto trucks so they can properly inspect them.

The dogs relax in separate kennels or play ball with their handlers in the stadium when they are not working. Employees stop to pet the dogs as long as they are not in the middle of inspecting a delivery.

"These dogs' sense of smell is so strong," said Bill Heiser, the president of Southern Hills Kennels, which sells more than 100 working dogs a year and trained Rufus and Anja. "If you walked into a house and someone was cooking beef stew, you would smell beef stew. If the dog goes into the house, they can individually distinguish the smell of the carrots, potatoes, the pepper, the seasonings and the meat," he told the newspaper.

The dogs are different from police dogs, which are taught more than just bomb sniffing and often go home every day with their handlers. On game days, fans will rarely see Rufus and Anja. They will be inspecting deliveries while New Jersey state police dogs patrol the crowds.

GIANTS, JETS FANS TO GET HIGH QUALITY VIDEO
August 5, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - Fans of the New York Giants and Jets will get high-quality video and electronic offerings at the Meadowlands Stadium that opens this year, according to the New York Times.

The venue will offer fans free smart-phone applications that they can glance at to see video replays, updated statistics and live video from other games - and that will work only inside a stadium.

Over the next few years, stadium officials told the Times, the applications will provide fans with statistics on the speed of players and the ball, and fantasy games that will allow them to pick players and compete against other fans.

For those fans who do not have smart phones, the Times said 2,200 televisions with 48,000 square feet of screens have been installed in and around the stadium, the most of any NFL stadium. The applications and stadium video screens will access video feeds that can be used only in the stadium because of the league's television agreements. If the fan leaves, the application will no longer work and will direct fans to the teams' Web sites, which will offer less.

MEADOWLANDS STADIUM DESIGNED TO LURE TAILGATERS IN
August 19, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The Bergen Record notes that the design of the Meadowlands Stadium is intended to get fans out of the parking lots before games and into areas that benefit sponsors.

The new $1.6 billion stadium was designed with a 350,000-square-foot plaza surrounding the building. For the first time, fans will be able to buy barbecue outside instead of grilling it themselves, the newspaper said.

A 30-yard artificial turf field will be home to pee wee football games, as well as punt, pass and kick competitions for kids. A band shell will be the site of concerts before games.

And 20 giant-screen televisions around the stadium's exterior will allow fans to watch earlier or later games.

"This is a huge area, and we want people to walk through it as if they were going to a fairgrounds, with all sorts of different activity," Jets Vice President Thad Sheely told the Record. "It's an urban park, really."

Fans will enter the stadium through four corner gates labeled "Verizon," "Bud Light," "MetLife" and "Pepsi."

And for an estimated $8 million apiece annually, the newspaper said all four corporate sponsors will try to get their money's worth by luring you into their corner.

Sheely said that Pepsi, for instance, brought in a samba band and samba dancers to perform before a U.S.-Brazil soccer game at the stadium. That area is also home to the field that will feature attractions, such as cheerleading events, Frisbee-catching-dog performances and youth football games.

The Bud Light corner features a "railgating" section that may prove ideal for the 8,000 to 10,000 fans expected to take trains to each game. Those fans - most of them traveling light and without grills - can now buy their barbecue, including a USDA prime, grilled steak sandwich for $19 or an organic chicken kebob sandwich for $10, the newspaper reported.

"We want to get them with the smell of the barbecue right as they get off the train," operator Mark Lobel of the well-known Lobel's of New York butcher shop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, told the Record. "These people want it to be easy."

Lobel has another idea up his sleeve, though the logistics could be challenging. The shop may offer mixed-grill packages of hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks and sausages to tailgaters who want to cook up a barbecue feast but don't want the hassle of lugging a grill and fixings to the game.

"Fans could call ahead and reserve a tailgating space, say for 10 people; then when they arrive we bring them the food they've ordered in a cooler, and we have a Weber grill there for them to use," Sheely said.

The Record said the Jets and Giants are planning to feature former players in autograph sessions and question-and-answer segments, while the Verizon section will display gaming platforms, high-definition televisions and the latest technology. Sheely said the MetLife area will feature a giant scoreboard and clock, as well as a number of games and a chance to win football-related prizes.

August 19, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

The New York Giants announced a plan to sell single-game tickets to their opening game at the Meadowlands Stadium without the permanent seat licenses they've required so far, according to ESPN. PSL holders get first crack at the single game tickets, but starting Monday anyone will be able to purchase them through Ticketmaster. The licenses had been sold for a minimum of $1,000.

EAST RUTHERFORD SEEKING PROPERTY TAXES FROM GIANTS, JETS
September 23, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - East Rutherford officials want to collect $25 million in property taxes from the Giants and Jets for their new stadium in the Meadowlands, according to Bloomberg News.

East Rutherford has sent the Giants a $745,000 bill for taxes on a practice complex built on the same site as the stadium. The community plans to levy taxes on the stadium next year if it's successful collecting them on the training facilities, Mayor James Cassella told the news service.

"We believe the new stadium built for the Jets and Giants and the training facility should be taxable," Cassella told the state's Local Finance Board at a meeting in Trenton. "For some reason, they believe they shouldn't have to pay taxes on a private development."

The teams are balking at taxes on their new buildings, which sit on tax-exempt property, though they are privately owned, Cassella told Bloomberg. The former Giants Stadium, which operated on the same site until last year, was exempt from property taxes because it was owned by a public entity, the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority.

Tax payments are covered by an arrangement in which the Sports Authority pays East Rutherford about $6 million in place of property taxes for the Meadowlands complex, which also includes a horse-racing track and the Izod Center, the Giants said in a statement issued with the Sports Authority.

Bloomberg said at East Rutherford's tax rate of about $1.54 per $100 of assessed value, a $1.6 billion stadium would generate a bill of about $25 million. That's almost as much as the community of 8,700 people collected from all of its taxpayers in 2008, according to a 2009 bond issue.

November 11, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Figures show train ridership to National Football League games at the New Meadowlands Stadium is up 50 percent this year, according to the Bergen Record. The Jets have 70 percent more fans riding the rails than in 2009. The numbers have gotten a boost from two ÒMonday Night FootballÓ games. Giants fans are making about 26 percent more trips.

CIRCUIT BREAKER BLAMED FOR STADIUM BLACKOUT
November 18, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - A failsafe that works like a household circuit breaker is to blame for a brief blackout that plunged 81,000 spectators into darkness during Sunday's Giants-Cowboys game at the New Meadowlands Stadium, a sports complex official told the Bergen Record.

The device, which was attached to a transformer about 1,600 feet from the stadium, cut power to the nationally televised contest when it tripped for reasons that are still unknown, said John Samerjan, a spokesman for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which runs the complex.

Engineers spent Monday attempting to determine how much power the stadium was using when the lights went out and why the transformer tripped when it did, Samerjan said.

A spokeswoman for PSE&G, the utility that supplies electricity to the area, told the Record its systems did not experience any problems that would have interrupted power delivery to the stadium.

Several banks of lights went out atop the stadium about 6 p.m., just 10 seconds into second half. The game was delayed for about three minutes before play resumed in slightly dimmer conditions. About 15 minutes later, the entire stadium went dark.

The Record said the troublesome transformer is not part of the months-old $1.6 billion stadium, but a substation that is owned by the sports authority and is responsible for providing power to the entire complex. It's located on the backstretch of the Meadowlands Racetrack, on the side of the complex that hugs Paterson Plank Road, Samerjan said.

As spectators scratched their heads at the light show, workers for the complex manned the substation to manually redirect the power supply into backup equipment. The authority provides the power as part of its lease agreement with New Meadowlands Stadium, Samerjan said. In other words, the Record said, the rent includes electricity.

Samerjan said staff engineers plan to have the substation ready for Sunday, when the Jets are home for a 1 p.m. kick-off against the Houston Texans. The Giants will be away in Philadelphia.

Aerial View

GIANTS MAY ESCAPE REAL ESTATE TAXES
March 17, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

East Rutherford, N.J. - The New York Giants may pass off millions in taxes to the state if the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority loses a court battle over a tax bill for the Timex Performance Center at the 750-acre Meadowlands Sports Complex site, the Bergen Record reported.

East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella wants the Giants to pay taxes on the Timex facility. A judge is expected to render his decision within the next couple of weeks. The decision could be groundbreaking for the town. Town officials say they may go after the stadium, Xanadu and all other privately owned facilities located on the state land, if East Rutherford wins in court. Mayor James Cassella said the borough is not looking for a money grab.

"It's not like we're looking for more money. We just want them to pay their fair share," Cassella told the Record. "It would reduce the tax [share], which means everyone else pays less."

Since 2010, the borough of East Rutherford has been locked in a battle with the state agency, professional football team, and Giants Training Facility, LLC, all named as plaintiffs in legal documents, over whether the 360,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility where the Giants train should be taxed or be subject to payment in lieu of taxes fees. The Timex facility was assessed at approximately $100 million. Taxes would be approximately $1.5 million annually just for the Timex facility, borough officials told the newspaper.

"The NJSEA already pays 21 percent of the borough's tax levy," NJSEA attorney Carl Rizzo told the newspaper, noting the NJSEA's $6.5 million in payments for the whole complex annually. Rizzo argued that regardless of the fact that the general public does not have access to the Timex facility, the end result of its existence goes towards public use. "There's no dispute that Timex [facility] is related to producing the product: a football game.

That's a necessary component, and the reason why the Giants are still here," Rizzo said. "The purpose of Legislature's action [tax exemption on state land] was to keep teams in New Jersey...the only component of public access is the end product, which is the football game."

Additionally, he said that state statute provides that project, except off track wagering, on public property, is exempt from taxes.

The Meadowlands Complex, initially constructed in the early 1970s, included the old stadium, racetrack and arena. In March 2007, the NJSEA adopted a Master Plan, which included demolition of the old stadium, construction of the 82,000-seat New Meadowlands Stadium, the training facility, two tailgate zones totaling 10,000 square feet and approximately 520,000 square feet of gross leasable area adjacent to the new stadium. A subsequent 39-year lease agreement between the NJSEA and the Giants was signed, with extension renewal periods of 174 months each, at conclusion of lease, the newspaper said.

The New York Giants currently pays $5 million to the NJSEA for the ground lease of the new stadium and Timex facility; and $1.3 million towards PILOT fees, totaling $6.3 million. The NJSEA, in turn, gives the borough $6.3 million in PILOT fees annually for the entire sports complex.

However, as part of the lease agreement, the New York Giants will not have to pay taxes, passing off payment obligations to the landlord/state (NJSEA) if taxes are assessed, according to the Record.

MET LIFE GETS STADIUM NAMING RIGHTS
August 25, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

New York - MetLife has purchased naming rights for the next 25 years for the Giants' and Jets' stadium in the Meadowlands, the Newark Star Ledger reported. The venue will be called MetLife Stadium.

The stadium that will soon be decked out with four illuminated MetLife signs on its exterior; the company will also get 120,000 square feet of branded space at the stadium's main entrance, the newspaper said.

The pact is reported to be worth about $17 million or $18 million a year and represents a substantial commitment for MetLife, the nation's largest life insurer.

The money will be split between the Giants and the Jets, who financed construction of the stadium, according to the New York Times.

Beth Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer for MetLife, told the Star Ledger that while MetLife's brand is ubiquitous, the company aims to get into the top of consumers' minds, a place insurance rarely is except when paying a bill or making a claim.

One event that will definitely focus the public eye on MetLife Stadium is the 2014 Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, which will offer a quick return on the investment in the form of nationally televised mentions and images of MetLife's name.

January 19, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Moody's downgraded the credit of East Rutherford, N.J. because of the New York Giants' dispute with the community over taxes. Bloomberg news said the ratings firm downgraded $16 million in general obligation debt from the borough one level to A2 from A1, saying the lawsuit between the town, the team and the state entity that owns the land beneath the stadium has worsened financial operations. "The negative outlook reflects ongoing litigation related to the Timex Performance Center's tax status and the impact on the budget of non-payment of a material amount of property taxes for two years," Moody's said in a Jan. 13 ratings report, noting that the facility is the borough's second-largest taxpayer by assessed value.

New York Giants

Polo Grounds
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1956-1973
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2010-Present

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1960-1963
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1964-1983
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