SBD/Issue 21/Facilities & Venues

East Rutherford Wants More In Taxes From Giants/Jets Stadium

East Rutherford Mayor Says City Deserves
More Money From Giants' Meadowland Stadium
East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella said that because the new Giants/Jets stadium, team offices and practice facilities are privately owned, the city "deserves more than what it has been receiving, a point he plans to make in negotiations" with the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA), according to Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. The city "wants to collect taxes that any private business in its borders would have to pay." But the stadium sits on land owned by the tax-exempt NJSEA, and for years, the authority has collected rent from the teams to "use its publicly owned stadium, and payments of $1.3[M] 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." The authority this year "will pay the borough" $5.97M, which is 21% of "what the borough would have collected if the land were privately owned." Negotiations are "unlikely to begin until November, when the next governor is chosen." Cassella "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 $5M in rent and $1.3M in lieu of taxes. Former NJSEA CEO & President George Zoffinger, "who opposed the deal," said, "It's a travesty that no one is focused on them building a $1.5[B] stadium and that they don't pay any more in taxes. At the end of the day, the authority is going to have to go back to the state for subsidies" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/11).

THE SUITE LIFE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Don Muret reports CSL Marketing Group has been hired “to fortify efforts to sell all 213 suites planned” for the Giants/Jets stadium. Meadowlands Stadium Co. President & CEO Mark Lamping said that CSL was brought in to “to assist his group’s three-person staff and sales representatives from the Jets and Giants.” CSL, whose deal runs through next October, has sold the Giants’ PSL and club seats at the stadium since ’07. Lamping: “CSL has a familiarity with our project, and it is also the kind of company you can hire to come in under a specific time period. It’s much easier than going out and hiring full-time people that would be working themselves out of a job by the time football season starts next year.” Lamping did not indicate “how many units remained to sell, but he confirmed a published report that said 60 percent of the stadium’s suites had been sold as of August” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/12 issue).

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