NFL owners OK $300M for new Giants-Jets stadium

Updated: December 7, 2006, 6:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Giants and Jets will receive $300 million in funding help from NFL owners for their new stadium at the Meadowlands.

The ballpark is projected to cost between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion.

The owners approved the league stadium financing request, a loan, at the NFL owners meeting in Frisco, Texas, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The vote was 30-2 for stadium funding, with the Bills and Bengals dissenting

"It's absolutely important to have a world-class facility in the No. 1 market for the NFL," commissioner Roger Goodell said after the meeting. "In New York, there's a lot of competing facilities being built, and it's important for us to keep up with the other sports in the New York area."

The teams are jointly financing the stadium, which is expected to open in 2010 and seat between 82,500 and 84,000. Construction is expected to begin next spring.

Jets owner Woody Johnson applauded his fellow owners for approving the loan.

"They all recognize the importance of having a modern facility in the largest media market in the world," Johnson said from an airport in Texas after attending the meeting. "They voted for the league."

Johnson said the vote was "almost unanimous" and described it as a "vote of confidence from the other league owners."

In a statement, Johnson and Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said their goal is to create a new stadium that will revolutionize and enhance the experience for the fans.

"This modern and technologically advanced stadium will bring about a new excitement for football in the region and throughout the league, and be a showcase for the grandeur and fun that NFL gamedays offer," the two said.

Final design plans are expected in January, said Alice McGillion, a spokeswoman for New Meadowlands Stadium Corp., a company that represents the team owners.

Thursday's vote helps keep the construction schedule on track, said Carl Goldberg, chairman of the board of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns the Meadowlands.

The owners also approved a $42.5 million loan for renovations of Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The moves marked the end of the stadium financing program, called G3, but the league will be working on creating a new stadium-funding mechanism, Goodell said.

"It's the end of the G3 program in the sense that we have exhausted the funds allocated for the G3 program," he said.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior writer John Helyar was used in this report.