Monday, August 08, 2005

The MetroStars get a new home

So this is not breaking news, but I was out last week so back off! Sorry about that.

Anyway, it is great to see another stadium getting built and from the press release, this one might just be the best one yet. As an added feature, the "image this" picture (look up) they put forward seems to indicate that this stadium will allow you to see through other fans. Not sure how that will help the game, but it is a great gimmick.

So let's talk money.

This stadium has been under consideration for over 4 years, but no one was sure who was going to pay for what. At first the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the MetroStar's owners, only wanted to put up $40 million of the cost, but decided to fund the entire cost of the $75-90 million 20,000-seat stadium. In exchange for this, the town of Harrison will pay about $25 million for land acquisition and the county of Hudson will pay $38 million for a 1,500-vehicle parking garage.

This seems like a good deal all around. I'm glad to see the cost on taxpayers is minimal. Too often cities seem to be used by professional teams. They get very little return for their investment. In this situation, the land is not currently being used for anything, so the stadium will provide some tax revenue were there currently is none. Also, parking is almost always a smart thing to invest in especially in a big city.

The stadium is part of a 275-acre waterfront redevelopment project located across the river from downtown Newark.

When this stadium opens, it will be the fifth soccer-specific stadium built by an MLS team.


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