SBD/Issue 126/Franchises

Jets, Giants Dispute How First Game At New Stadium Will Be Decided

 (l to r) Giants' Steve Tisch, John Mara And
Jets' Woody Johnson At New Stadium

The Jets Saturday posted a story on their Web site that said the NFL will decide which team hosts the first regular-season game at the new Meadowlands stadium "by a coin toss," but the Giants are "unaware of any such plan," according to Tom Rock of NEWSDAY. The NFL issued a statement "that suggested it too is in the dark on the proposition," and said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "determines the schedule." NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello: "We have no announcements to make about the schedule at this point." Rock notes when the Jets were "given the final regular-season game in the old Giants Stadium ... many assumed that the Giants would host the first game of the 2010 season." The NFL schedule will be released in early April (NEWSDAY, 3/15). In N.Y., Ralph Vacchiano notes the Giants "weren't pleased with the Jets' surprise announcement." A source indicated that the Jets "have been aggressively pushing the coin-flip idea because they're worried that the NFL has already decided to give the opening game to the Giants" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/15). In the original story, NewYorkJets.com Editor-in-Chief Randy Lange reported the NFL "has said the game will be decided by a coin toss and the Jets have presented a plan for the flip at the new stadium" this week. The details of the coin flip, including its date and time, "have yet to be fully worked out with the league, but the Jets are willing to let the verdict be determined the same way that the league's teams have settled some scores for decades." It is "quite possible there will be media coverage" of the coin flip, and fans "may be invited into the stadium to observe the proceedings and cheer on their side" (NEWYORKJETS.com, 3/13).

FINANCIAL SUPPORT: In N.Y., Richard Wilner reported the Jets are "in good shape to pocket a $200,000 grant from cash-strapped New York to pay for the expenses associated with" holding training camp in Cortland, New York. The Jets last August "moved their team headquarters from their 40-year home at Hofstra University to New Jersey -- and took with them all the income-tax revenue, home-rental income and associated economic benefit that New York had enjoyed." But U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that the $200,000 is "well worth it," as training camp in Cortland has "produced quite a financial return" (N.Y. POST, 3/14).

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