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Old Posted Mar 15, 2012, 8:05 PM
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Mall Plan Irks Jets, Giants



March 14, 2012
By HEATHER HADDON

Quote:
New Jersey's quest to build one of the nation's largest shopping centers has long been plagued by money problems, but now a new obstacle has emerged: potential opposition from two professional football teams, the Giants and Jets. The powerful franchises are concerned that the American Dream Meadowlands would intensify traffic around their home field, MetLife Stadium, worsening what is already the No. 1 complaint from fans. The stadium is unique among the region's sports facilities in that the majority of fans travel there by car. Exiting the parking lot already takes about an hour.

Transit advocates and some local mayors also believe the $1.8 billion entertainment complex—the latest incarnation of a project originally called Xanadu—will cause highway gridlock, but the teams are a far more influential force in New Jersey. Together, they spent $1.6 billion to build the new MetLife Stadium in 2010 and have the ear of Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

The sports teams want the American Dream developers to shut down an amusement and water park on the days of their 20 home games during the regular and preseason, people familiar with the negotiations said. If that doesn't happen, the teams would consider a legal challenge, these people said. Talks between the teams and the developers, Triple Five of Edmonton, Canada, got "testy" two weeks ago over traffic, one person said.


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