"What happened is the NFL put a tremendous amount of pressure on the Jets," said source close to the Jets. "They didn't want the Jets using Queens to hold up the Giants on this deal."
The Jets were negotiating with officials in Queens about a stadium, while also negotiating with the state do New Jersey about a facility.
Another factor was the threat of a lawsuit being levied at the Jets.
"If they held up the Giants stadium deal, by screwing around with Queens, the state of New Jersey was going to sue them for holding up the Giants," said the source. "The state would have sued them for not acting in good faith, and trying to use Queens as leverage against them. They were using Queens against New Jersey and New Jersey against Queens. It would have been major litigation. It would have awfully messy."
While the Jets and Giants did agree to build a stadium together, they still have a lot of details to work out.
"They are still ironing things out," said the source. "They have an overall deal, now they just have to work out some details. The Giants want club seats and suites on one side of stadium, but Jets want them all over and Jets won that."
So when is construction going to start?
"They want to break ground in spring of 2006 to be in by 2009," said the source. "Or they might wait a year and be in 2110. This will be the most technically advanced stadium in the NFL, and they want to do it right, so they might wait a year if that is what it takes. They aren't going to rush construction to get it done by 2009."
And the Jets plan on moving their training complex from Hofstra to New Jersey.
"The Jets lease with Hofstra up in 2007," said the source. "The training facility will be within 20 miles of the stadium. The Giants will be behind the racetrack."
There were mixed emotions in the Jets organization about this stadium announcement.
"Some people in organization weren't happy about this," said the source. "But after owner (Woody Johnson) spent 70 million trying to get the Manhattan Stadium, this was the deal to get done. Queens was going to be a battle, and Woody couldn't pass this up, especially with no guarantees in Queens."
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