16th July 05:09
2008 Super Bowl - Goodbye NY/NJ
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York-New Jersey, compromised by a
stalemate over potential renovations to Giants Stadium, may no longer
be a viable candidate to host the 2008 Super Bowl, USA Today reported
According to the report, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue questioned
whether New York-New Jersey representatives would be prepared to
present when the owners meet to vote on the game's host Oct. 29-30 in
New York Giants executive vice president John Mara, so incensed by the
renovations standoff, suggested that the team may go to court to
enforce its view of its stadium lease. The Giants extended the lease
in 1995 by another 10 years, binding the team to the stadium through
2026. In exchange, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
agreed to maintain the 80,242-seat stadium to keep it comparable with
current state-of-the-art venues.
"We don't want to have to resort to legal action to enforce it under
the lease. That would be the last straw," Mara told USA Today. "But if
it comes to that, so be it.
"The league has made it clear for some time that in order for us to be
considered for a Super Bowl, Giants Stadium needed to be renovated and
updated," he said. "I'm not sure they will allow us to make a
presentation at the end of October. ... I am fairly sure there is no
chance to get a Super Bowl without a renovation agreement in place."
George Zoffinger, head of the exposition authority, remains publicly
indifferent to the looming deadline.
"We don't have to have the Super Bowl in 2008," he told the newspaper.
"Maybe we can have it in a later year."
Reports place the estimated renovation costs to allow Giants Stadium
to host Super Bowl XLII at around $290 million. According to the
paper, the Giants want more club seats, wider concourses to
accommodate more concession stands, and more restrooms. The team is
willing to pay for that in exchange for the right to operate the
stadium and keep the vast majority of all revenue.
Zoffinger told the paper that those improvement costs should come at
the team's expense.
"We're in the same battle where taxpayers basically say that if
wealthy team owners want to make improvements to increase revenue,
they should do so with their own money," he told the paper.
Washington, the other cold-weather venue, stands to gain from New
York-New Jersey's problems.
"The commissioner has told our owner he would love to see the Super
Bowl in Washington or New York," Redskins chief operating officer
David Pauken told the paper. "If there are challenges in New York, it
would be helpful to us, certainly."
The stadium's other tenants -- the New York Jets -- are focused on
building a retractable-roof stadium on Manhattan's west side. They are
not involved in the renovation negotiations.