SBD/Issue 129/Franchises

Woody Johnson Defends Jets' Plan To Give Employees Furloughs

Johnson Won't Say How Much
He's Saving With Furloughs

The Jets are forcing 60 employees to take a two-week unpaid furlough this summer despite signing free-agent LB Bart Scott to a $48M contract and "arranging for private planes for his [GM] and head coach to go on scouting trips," but Owner Woody Johnson called the furloughs a "different deal," according to Gary Myers of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Johnson, making his first public comments on the furlough plan, said, "One is a salary cap and you have to spend. You have to put a product on the field. The other is getting ready for dealing with the financial reality, just like the NFL and just like every business in the U.S. The furlough is less drastic than actually letting people go." Johnson "wouldn't say how much he is saving other than it is 'enough that we didn't have to let people go.'" Johnson: "We could avoid it. When we come out of this, we will be better prepared." Meanwhile, Johnson said the Jets' PSL sales for the new Meadowlands stadium are "doing well," but he did not offer any numbers. Giants President & CEO John Mara yesterday said that 90% of his team's current season-ticket holders are "buying PSLs in the new stadium, although some are reducing the number of tickets they are purchasing." Mara: "We're pretty close to being sold out." Myers notes the Jets and Giants are "not close to a naming rights deal" for the new stadium. Giants co-Owner Steve Tisch: "It's a challenging time. It's a matter of patience, pursuit and timing" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/24).

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