EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –The Giants and New York Jets today announced they will come together in a historic 50-50 partnership to build a new stadium next door to Giants Stadium that both teams will call home.
The teams, which have committed to playing in New Jersey for the next 99 years, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority hope the stadium will be ready for the 2009 NFL season.
- Governor Richard Codey "Today is a great day for New Jersey, a great day for the Giants and for the Jets, and a great day for sports fans everywhere," acting Governor Richard Codey, who was instrumental in brokering the agreement between the teams, said at a news conference in Giants Stadium. "I am proud to announce that we have come to a historic agreement to keep the Giants and the Jets where they belong – in a new world-class, state-of-the-art stadium right here in the Meadowlands.
"The agreement we have reached today is the first two-team partnership in the history of the NFL. The Giants and the Jets have committed to stay in New Jersey, and remain in this great new home, for the next 99 years."
The new stadium will be located between the current stadium and the Meadowlands Racetrack. Both teams have submitted proposals for what the stadium should include. Representatives of the two teams will now work to create the final design.
The stadium will be the centerpiece of the nation's best sports and entertainment complex. Jets and Giants fans will experience a state-of-the-art facility that will feature new fan amenities, better sightlines, wider concourses, and more concessions. The new stadium and the ancillary development will provide fans with unparalleled opportunities on game days and throughout the year.
The Giants and Jets – not the NJSEA – will manage the stadium.
The stadium is expected to seat approximately 80,000 fans. Current plans do not include a retractable dome, though the stadium is expected to be built "roof ready" so a dome can be added at a later date.
"The Giants are very pleased to enter into this partnership with the New York Jets," said John Mara, the team's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We think if we pool the respective talents in our organizations, we can create the premier football stadium and entertainment complex in the NFL.
"This is an exciting day for the fans of both the Giants and the Jets. I think both sets of fans can look forward to enjoying rooting for their teams in what will surely become the best stadium in the NFL."
Mara and Giants executive vice president Steve Tisch have spent long hours negotiating with the state, the NJSEA and the Jets to reach this agreement.
"It's really been a great experience for me and my family and John Mara and his family," Tisch said. "I think not only will the fans of both teams benefit, the citizens of New Jersey and the National Football League, but in working with the Jets with one common goal, the definition of teamwork is going to be re-defined. John Mara and I look forward to beginning a great, long-lasting relationship with (the Jets) and to design and create and build a stadium of the future in the state of New Jersey."
The Jets were represented at the news conference by Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson and president Jay Cross.
"The New York Jets are very enthusiastic to be here in New Jersey," Johnson said, "and to join in an effort to build a world-class stadium with the New York Giants. This hopefully will be a great partnership for many years."
As part of the agreement, the NJSEA has agreed to acquire sites for both teams to build new state-of-the art training complexes in New Jersey. The Giants' facility will be located near the stadium in the Meadowlands complex. The Jets, who have long had their headquarters at Hofstra University on Long Island, will move to New Jersey full-time.
"We're very happy with the commitment by the state of New Jersey to find practice facility sites for both teams," said Cross. "Speaking for the New York Jets, we can't wait to get started on our practice facility. We're looking forward to moving across the river and finally getting into a state-of-the-art facility."
Since Giants Stadium opened in 1976, the Giants have had a practice field adjacent to the stadium. Mara was asked if it would be inconvenient for the team to work a little further away than it is accustomed to doing.
"I don't think it will be a major inconvenience," Mara said. "We'd like to stay somewhere on the complex. We've identified an area on the complex we think will be acceptable."
The teams must now take their separate ideas and meld them into a shared vision for the stadium they will share for decades to come.
"Today, we agreed to start a dialog creatively and functionally," Tisch said. "We will go forward with a tremendous amount of commitment and goodwill and we are going to work out all the issues. There is tremendous enthusiasm by both teams to pursue this thing as a team. We're going to bring a tremendous amount of creative talent together, and we're going to create a design that we're going to be proud of, and want to live with for a long, long time."