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New Jersey officials OK Giants' stadium deal

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (April 22, 2005) -- The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority approved a deal clearing the way for the New York Giants to get a new stadium.

Eleven members of the authority voted in favor of the proposed $750 million stadium, which is to be ready for the 2008 season. Four members abstained.

Officials have said taxpayers will not shoulder any additional burden from the deal, which calls for the team to pay the entire cost of construction and to manage the facility, and to keep all profits. In recent days, the agreement, reached after months of contentious negotiations, has come under fire from politicians, including several gubernatorial hopefuls.

"We must resolve not to allow the stadium to ever again become a political football," the Giants said in a statement. "Now is the time for everyone to embrace this agreement and work with us to move forward on what will be the best stadium deal in NFL history."

The agreement allows the team to build an 80,000-seat stadium in the Meadowlands. The 40-year deal contains options that could extend it to 98 years.

Giants Stadium opened in 1976; the Jets joined the Giants there in 1984.

The Giants will pay $6.3 million a year to New Jersey in rent and taxes. The state is responsible for as much as $30 million in roadwork and still will be responsible for $124 million in debt that remains on the existing stadium.

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