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Stadium groundbreaking


The new stadium the Jets and the Giants are scheduled to occupy in 2010 will be distinguished by an outer skin of aluminum louvers and by interior lighting that will switch colors depending on which team is playing at home.


The changing colors — green for the Jets, blue for the Giants — reflect each team’s desire to individualize the look of the 82,500-seat stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The teams’ current home, Giants Stadium, opened in 1976, but the Jets have long felt like a second-class tenant there since arriving in 1984. The louvers in the new stadium, which are arranged in various densities, may also reflect the teams’ colors.


Although construction has been going on at the site north and east of Giants Stadium since April, groundbreaking on the $1.3 billion stadium will take place today, with officials from both teams; the N.F.L., including Commissioner Roger Goodell; and the state expected to attend.


It is the newest local sports project after decades without construction: the Devils’ Newark arena will open next month; the Mets and the Yankees are building ballparks that are expected to open in 2009; construction of the Red Bulls’ stadium is underway in Harrison, N.J.; and the Nets still anticipate building an arena near downtown Brooklyn.


Since Giants Stadium opened, 22 stadiums have opened in the N.F.L., including the new Soldier Field, which involved building a new stadium inside the exterior of the old one.


Eight facilities are older than Giants Stadium. One of them, the Dallas Cowboys’ Texas Stadium, is to be replaced by a $1 billion facility in 2009. Another, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., had a $295 million modernization that was completed without compromising its essence in 2003.


According to renderings of the Jets-Giants stadium obtained by The New York Times, giant red pylons at the north and east entrances will display videos of each team, depending on which one is playing.


A signature feature of the stadium — which will be built in the shape of a rounded rectangle — will be the massive Great Wall that will be partly visible through the louvers at the main entrance.


The wall will be 400 feet long and 40 feet high, showing panels of images that will rotate between photographic murals of the Giants and Jets on game days and different pictures for concerts and other events.


Inside, four 40-by-130-foot scoreboards will hang from each corner of the upper deck.


The sight lines will be similar to those at Giants Stadium, which seats a little over 80,000, but in some cases seats will be farther away because the new facility will have more than double the square footage. The stadium complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and it will have four restaurants, nearly double the current 117 luxury suites, and 9,200 club seats, two club lounges, wider concourses and at least one hall of fame.


Just outside the stadium is the location for a railway station — which connects the Meadowlands to the Pascack Valley Line of New Jersey Transit — that is expected to be completed in 2009. The addition of the rail station is similar to the plan to bring a Metro-North stop to the new Yankee Stadium.


There will be numerous tailgating zones, and myriad options to buy food and merchandise in the plaza that will ring the stadium.


The Giants and the Jets are the only N.F.L. teams to share a stadium, but there was never a guarantee that they would build the new one together. For a time, the teams were on parallel tracks to the future.


The Giants planned to renovate Giants Stadium at a cost of $750 million. Meanwhile, the Jets stood fast to a $2.2 billion proposal to construct a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan that would have been an extension of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the main Olympic stadium if New York City had won the bid to play host to the 2012 Summer Games.


The Jets’ politically sensitive plan was attacked by Cablevision, owner of nearby Madison Square Garden, and was eventually spurned by the Public Authorities Control Board.


In September 2005, the teams signed an agreement to jointly develop the stadium in New Jersey, which was then estimated to cost $800 million.


The $1.3 billion cost to finance construction of the new stadium has the teams considering whether to require season-ticket holders to buy one-time personal seat licenses. The teams have already obtained a loan of $300 million from the league’s G-3 stadium financing program that must be repaid over 15 years from club seat revenues.


Nothing amazing, but I was wondering wtf was going on with it.


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