Dissent For Giants Deal

New Jersey Gov. Richard Codey has signed off on a deal to give football’s New York Giants a new stadium pending approval by a state authority, but a gubernatorial contender has a different opinion.

State Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano, who represents the district that includes the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J., where the Giants play, believes officials should postpone voting on the stadium until the summer. A special meeting of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority was scheduled for April 29th, and a vote in the positive would be the last step to approving a new $750 million facility.

Instead, DiGaetano suggested the authority postpone its bid until the situation plays out in New York City – where football’s Jets are vying for an expensive facility. At press time, the Jets stadium seemed to be up in the air because it involves a tie to a bid for the 2012 Olympics, and that connection appears gloomy.

“There are too many serious questions that have to be answered for the public before any action should be taken by the board,” DiGaetano said at a news conference April 20th, according to New Jersey’s Record and Herald News.

Saying the stadium bid is a “power play” by Giants officials, DiGaetano believes the authority should wait until midsummer, when he expected the Jets stadium bid to fall apart.

“Once that idea crashes, we can sit both the Giants and the Jets down and try to work out a deal for a new stadium for both teams,” he said.

“If the Giants’ deal is done first, the Jets will be stuck with whatever crumbs the Giants let fall from the table,” DiGaetano reportedly said. “But the Giants’ lease runs until 2026, so why do a deal now?”

The Giants worked out a 40-year deal, with several options that could extend it to 98 years. The agreement with the state gives the football team 75 acres of the Meadowlands, and there’s a slight chance the gates will open in time for the 2008 season.

Meanwhile, the team has filed a lawsuit to block Xanadu – a $1.3 billion entertainment complex that is being built on the complex.