The Opportunity Cost Of The Giant’s Stadium Deal
Those abstaining included George Zoffinger, the Sports Authority's chief executive, who said he wanted to "remain consistent" with his past criticism of a deal he has claimed will cost taxpayers at least $150 million and will force his agency to operate at a deficit. The Authorities vice chairman Joseph Buckelew and board members Zulima Farber and David Jefferson also abstained.
The deal approved by the board calls for the NY Giants to receive control of 75 acres in the Meadowlands complex for 98 years and all revenue generated from the facilities built by the Giants on the property. New Jersey will receive $5 million a year in rent for the land and East Rutherford will receive $1.3 million a year in lieu of taxes.
New Jersey will be responsible for $124 million of debt on the exiting stadium that will be demolished to make way for the new stadium. The state will also be responsible for $30 million in utility improvements to the site. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will lose $19 million a year in revenue from the existing stadium.
The value of the land in the Meadowlands is never discussed in any press accounts, beyond an occasional reference to the fact that Giants stadium sits on some of the most valuable real estate in the nation.
It’s hard to believe the land couldn’t be leased or sold for far more than a paltry $6.5 million a year. Any private sector business would include the opportunity cost when calculating the total cost of a deal. The state should be required to include all costs involved so that New Jersey’s taxpayers can properly evaluate the proposed agreement. Even with the best spin on deal, it's clear it is a loser. Acting Governor Codey just doesn't want you to know how bad it will truly be for New Jersey.
The other point missing from all recent accounts of the Giants deal concerns the financing for the $700 million dollar stadium. The last reference we can find was back in December. At that time, the Star-ledger had reported that the $700 million to build the new stadium would be provided through tax-exempt bonds issued by New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Sounds like a sweet deal doesn’t it?
Zoffinger has argued for years that the state should be willing to let of the professional sports franchises at the Meadowlands go because they are benefiting wealthy team owners at taxpayer expense. It’s a pity no one listened. It’s not too late to tell your representatives in Trenton how you feel about this abuse of taxpayer money and property.
The New York Giants and New Jersey’s Sports Authority lawyers will spend the next three to six months finalizing a formal lease and development agreement the for new Giants stadium. When the agreement is finished, the Sports Authority's board will take a final vote on the deal.
So it’s not a “done deal” yet – take action! It’s time for politicians to understand they will pay a price for idly standing by while the taxpayers are ripped off. Politicians have an opportunity cost to pay too.
Our previous posts on the Giant Stadium deal:
Codey Eliminates “Pay To Play” For New York Giants
NY Giants Seek New $700M Stadium In NJ
Democrat’s Priorities Inconsistent With Rhetoric
NJ Taxpayers Still Owe $117 Million On Giants Stadium
NY Jets - The Other NJ Football Team
NJ Sweetens Stadium Offer To NY Giants
Giants Stadium Was Always A Bad Deal For Taxpayers
Deal For New Giants Stadium Stalled
We Want Our Bread, Not Circuses
Giant Rip Off
The Fine Print Of The Giants Deal