The Giants and Jets might share a building, but they remain rivals on most fronts.
But the teams are working together on a joint venture, filing a lawsuit to stop construction of a giant mall and entertainment complex next door to MetLife Stadium.
American Dream (formerly called Xanadu) is a $3.7 billion project funded by Triple Five, the company that owns the Mall of America in Minnesota. Construction was halted in 2009, and the Giants and Jets hope it stays that way.
Developers “apparently believe that the project, which they hope will attract 55 million people annually, is not going to have any impact on traffic on game days,” Giants co-owner, John Mara, said Friday, via NorthJersey.com. “We don’t see how that is possible.”
Though Bergen County, N.J. blue laws prohibit most retail shopping on Sundays (the days the two football teams care most about), there’s an argument over how much of a traffic nightmare it would become while they’re trying to do business.
Bergen County’s blue laws prohibit most retail shopping on Sundays, but Mara said that “it’s never been clear about what percentage of the project would be open” on game days.
In addition to a giant mall, the project is scheduled to include a water park, and indoor amusement park, a giant Ferris wheel and an indoor ski slope.
“We hoped to sit down and work out a reasonable compromise, but they’ve so far taken the position that they can simply be open on Sundays,” Mara said. “If you look at the other malls in Bergen County, they’re quite successful while being closed on Sundays for 52 weeks a year. We’re obviously asking for a lot less from them.”
State and local officials have supported the plan, and hope that a portion of it might be open by Feb. 2, 2014, when the Super Bowl will be played at MetLife.
They also contend that rail and highway upgrades mitigate the traffic problems the football teams envision.
Having seen part of the construction site up close while navigating in and out of the Meadowlands, it’a almost impossible to imagine how it wouldn’t be a nightmare. And the thought of navigating such a space on a Super Bowl Sunday boggles the mind.