Giants, Jets sue developer

Updated: June 26, 2012, 5:09 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New York Giants and New York Jets are seeking an injuction that would prevent the Triple Five Group from rehabilitating the American Dream retail and entertainment venue at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J.

The teams filed a suit in state court in Bergen County that alleges Triple Five, an Edmonton-based developer that also owns Mall of America in Minnesota, did not receive their consent to expand the project, known as "Xanadu."

Xanadu would hold the first indoor snow park in North America and 1 million square feet in retail space, as well as an amusement and water park that is specific to Triple Five's revised plans.

In the suit, the Giants and Jets cite a 2006 agreement between the teams, former developer Mills Corp. and state agency New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority that requires "prior written consent" if modifications on Xanadu are made that would have negative affects on football game days, NorthJersey.com reported Friday.

New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority also is named in the suit, according to NorthJersey.com.

Both the Giants and Jets play at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands.

"The success and goodwill of the (teams') business depends on providing patrons with an enjoyable experience on the limited number of days when events are held at MetLife Stadium," team attorneys assert in the lawsuit, according to the website. "Traffic and parking problems have consistently been among the most important areas of concern for patrons" on game days.

Some 55 million patrons could visit American Dream each year, developers have estimated.

Triple Five officials called the lawsuit "frivolous," and said it was an insult to New Jersey taxpayers and those hoping for jobs constructing or working at the mammoth new complex.

"In suing the State of New Jersey and our company, the teams have revealed they want to exert monopolistic control over the entire complex," a company statement said. "They want to tell us when and how we can operate our business. I am sure they would not want us to tell them when they can play their football games."

The company said its year-round entertainment complex "is perfectly compatible with their occasional use of their stadium," and added that although the teams wear the words "New York" on their uniforms "they need to consider what is best for New Jersey, its citizens and taxpayers."

Several northern New Jersey officials also blasted the teams for filing suit to stop a project they said would bring needed jobs and revenue to the area.

"It's a telling sign that these two New York-based teams are throwing up legal roadblocks to an economic enterprise that will benefit thousands of people in the region," said East Rutherford mayor James Cassella. "They don't want to be good neighbors. They just want to exploit New Jersey."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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