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New York Jets, Giants, file lawsuit to stop American Dream

New York sports fans and New Jersey residents alike may be wondering what will become of the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The New York Jets and New York Giants teams are pursuing litigation to prevent further development at the complex, arguing that new attractions will worsen game-day traffic for sports fans.

Construction is already under way to transform the retail complex formerly known as Xanadu into a waterpark and indoor amusement park, among other attractions. The developer, Triple Five, is in the process of securing almost $2 billion in additional financing. But the sports teams filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court last Friday, arguing that the American Dream Meadowlands project would create traffic headaches on game days. They’ve referred to a 2006 agreement that requires other projects at Meadowlands to get written permission to build anything that would have an “adverse impact” on football fans attending the games.

The Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce released a statement supporting the new American Dream development, calling the teams’ lawsuit untimely and very troubling. Its stance isn’t surprising; the new attractions have the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs and, as the chamber said in its statement, “limitless” business opportunities.

Local politicians have also weighed in on the dispute, saying they’re eager to keep development of the project going because as it stands, the existing complex is a multicolored eyesore. Some Bergen County officials, including two state senators, have suggested that the new entertainment center agree to stay closed on Sundays to prevent the extra traffic on game days that the teams are so vehemently against. But a spokesman for Triple Five refused to consider that proposal. It could represent a significant reduction in business, considering how many families could be drawn to the attractions on weekends.

Neither the developer nor the teams seem willing to back down, which means the lawsuit will likely go forward and result in an even bigger, more public tug-of-war. It will be interesting to see where the litigation goes and whether sports fans and potential customers of the new development will weigh in on the dispute.

Source: North, “The American Dream: the lawsuit fallout continues,” John Brennan, June 26, 2012

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