NFL Owners Green-Light Jets-Giants Finance Plan


Drawing of the new Jets/Giants NFL Football Stadium project in New Jersey.

The Jets and Giants won unprecedented approval from the NFL on Tuesday to borrow as much as $715 million each to help them build their new stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the cost of which is pegged at $1.6 billion —making it the most expensive stadium in U.S. history.

The league's owners, meeting in Phoenix this week, voted 31-1 to authorize both teams to borrow almost five times the $150 million a franchise is typically permitted under league rules and to carry the debt for as long as 25 years because of the high cost of building a stadium in the New York market.

The Jets and Giants are exploring a variety of ways to maximize their sources of funding to pay off the debt. Such sources include stadium naming rights and other sponsorship opportunities, luxury suite sales and deposits, and, if ultimately necessary, personal seat licenses. But neither team has committed to selling PSLs.

The stadium venture already required the NFL to waive some of its financial rules in December, when NFL owners voted 30-2 to grant the teams a combined $300 million loan from the league's G3 fund that provides money for construction.

The 84,000-seat stadium, scheduled to open for the 2010 season, has been designed with the fans in mind. It will feature enhanced spectator amenities and sightlines, cutting-edge scoreboards and sound system, and newly configured parking lots with easier access that accentuate the tailgating experience. The result will be one of the most innovative and memorable spectator environments in professional sports.

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