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February 09, 2005
Devils arena moves ahead, Giants not so much
The currently hypothetical New Jersey Devils scored one win last week, striking a deal with the city of Newark to build a $310 million hockey arena that would open in 2007. (I haven't been able to confirm just yet whether a city council vote is still needed to finalize the arena plan.) The city would spend $210 million in public money on the arena, and get back around one-third of its expense in rent payments and shared arena revenues; that may not sound great, but I suppose it's better than some of the alternatives.
(LATE NOTE: Just got word that the Newark council did approve the arena project last October, which snuck under my radar at the time. There's still a pending lawsuit over the city's end run around a public referendum; assuming the city clears that hurdle, arena construction is expected to begin this summer.)
The New York Giants of New Jersey's negotiations with the state sports authority, meanwhile, are going less smoothly, with the team and state still debating such issues as whether the planned Xanadu entertainment complex will be forced to shut on game days to make way for football fans to park. The Giants have said they will seek to sell naming rights to any new stadium, which they expect would pay for about $100 million worth of the stadium's $800 million price tag.
Finally, the New York Post reports that the Yankees are "90% of the way" to finalizing a stadium deal with the New York mayor's office, with the goal of having a Memorandum of Understanding signed before opening day in April. Of course, as the Jets have found out, an MOU with the mayor is no guarantee of legislative approval of funding for a project. (And as Brooklynites have found out, rumors of an imminent MOU and two bucks will get you on the subway.)