Giants Shake On New Stadium

After months of wrangling with state officials, it looks like the New York Giants are going to get a new $750 million stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Giants reportedly worked out a 40-year deal, with several options that could extend it to 98 years. The agreement with the state of New Jersey gives the football team 75 acres of the Meadowlands Sports Complex (currently, the team uses the 28 acres of Giants Stadium) along with most of the money from naming rights.

Built in 1976 and owned by the state, Giants Stadium is one of the oldest in the National Football League. The new 80,000-seat stadium is expected to have 200 luxury suites – each with higher capacity than the 118 in the current digs. Other amenities and facilities will triple the size of the current venue.

There is a slight chance the new stadium could be built by the 2008 football season.

Gov. Richard Codey said the stadium was a good deal for taxpayers and “one of the best deals in the country.”

The Giants will own and operate the stadium, paying New Jersey an annual rent of $5 million, according to The New York Times, plus a $1.3 million annual payment in lieu of taxes. The state will fork over $125 million in existing debt on Giants Stadium and pay for the infrastructure on the new one, which the Times said was estimated at $30 million.

Along with concerns about future taxes on the stadium, the team and state officials spent several months wrangling over worries about game-day traffic from Xanadu – the $1.3 billion entertainment complex being built at the Meadowlands.

The Giants filed a lawsuit April 5th to force New Jersey to make renovations to Giants Stadium and block Xanadu. The team is reportedly dropping the renovation issue but continuing to pursue an injunction to halt construction of the entertainment complex.

The new stadium agreement leaves the possibility that the New York Jets – which share Giants Stadium – might stick around, according to the Times.

The Meadowlands complex has several sports teams that are in the process of migrating, including the New Jersey Devils hockey team (which plans to move to a new arena in Newark) and the New Jersey Nets basketball team (which is expected to move to Brooklyn). The MetroStars soccer team is also in the process of obtaining a new stadium in Harrison, N.J.