SBD/Issue 165/Facilities & Venues

Jets Near Lease Extension If West Side Stadium Falls Through

Jets Near Giants Stadium Lease Renewal
The Jets are “closing in on a 10-year extension to the team’s lease at Giants Stadium,” which would include “the right to break the agreement if the franchise can build a stadium elsewhere,” according New Jersey state officials cited by Matthew Futterman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The new lease would reduce the Jets’ rent to 10% of gross ticket sales from 15%, while “providing the team with a serious backup plan if its proposed West Side stadium project falls through.” It also gives the team “major leverage in upcoming talks with the Giants, who need the Jets’ approval to build a $750[M] stadium” next to the existing one, and raises the “possibility that the team could ask to take over the existing Giants Stadium in return for giving the Giants permission to build their new facility.” Futterman notes the extension would “prohibit the Giants from tearing down” the existing Giants Stadium “without reaching an accommodation with the Jets’ owners” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/19). In N.Y., Tom Topousis reports the pending deal “would slash the team’s $7[M] rent for its current Meadowlands location by one-third.” A source said, “The Jets still want to be in New York and will work to be in New York, but this gives them a very viable plan B and it’s not in Queens” (N.Y. POST, 5/19).

WAITING GAME: Also in N.Y., Colangelo & Mahoney report New York Gov. George Pataki “set next Wednesday as the new date” for the Public Authorities Control Board to vote on $300M in state funding for the West Side stadium. But sources said that the vote “is likely to be delayed once again” because New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver “is likely to exercise his one-time option of tabling the agenda item, ... just as Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno did this week” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/19). Pataki: “I just want to do what is right for the people of New York, that is to build the stadium, to get it approved, and I’m going to continue to push for it” (N.Y. TIMES, 5/19).

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