Jets, Giants Say Judge Allows Meadowlands Suit to Proceed
By Andrew Harris – Aug 27, 2013 12:08 AM ET
The New York Jets and Giants football teams said they won a court ruling allowing them to pursue a lawsuit against the developers of a retail and entertainment center at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Sports complex.
State Court Judge Peter E. Doyne in Hackensack, New Jersey, yesterday denied requests he throw out the case filed in May. The two National Football League teams accuse the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority of breaching a 2006 cooperation agreement and accused the developers of interfering with that pact.
A copy of Doyne’s ruling was provided by the teams to Bloomberg News and couldn’t be independently verified through court records.
“We look forward to the case proceeding,” the Giants and Jets said in a joint statement.
Dubbed the American Dream, the project is an outgrowth of an earlier plan known as Xanadu that gave rise to the 2006 accord, after which the teams collaborated on a $1.6 billion share facility known as MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010.
The revamped and enlarged development plan would create the world’s largest mall, totaling 7.5 million square feet and attracting 55 million people a year, Doyne said in his ruling, citing one of the developer’s claims.
At issue is to what degree the expanded plans will adversely affect the teams on game days.
“The teams agreed to Xanadu but have not agreed to American Dream,” Doyne wrote. “Plaintiff has presented scenarios where, should American Dream be fully operational, operation and use of the Stadium on game days could result in severe adverse effects.”
The judge said the teams conceded they weren’t seeking to block construction, which also includes a water park. He allowed them 20 days to modify a request for an injunction.
The teams can proceed on their interference claim against the developers, the judge said. The court dismissed a previous version of the teams’ suit a year ago, concluding it was prematurely filed.
The developers sued the teams for obstructing their plans last month.
“The only thing ‘new’ is that the judge denied the team’s request for an injunction and construction can/will go forward,” Alan Marcus, a spokesman for developers including Triple Five Worldwide Development Co., Ameream LLC and other entities, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
“The impact of the judge’s decision to let the case go forward is that the teams must still prove there is an adverse impact from the proposed water park and amusement park on game day Sundays,” Marcus said.
The teams’ case is New Meadowlands Stadium Co. v. Triple Five Group Ltd., BER-C-156-13, Bergen County, New Jersey, Superior Court, Chancery Division. The developers’ case is Ameream LLC v. New York Football Giants Inc., Bergen County, New Jersey, Superior Court, Law Division (Hackensack).
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