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Super Bowl in New York on agenda at meetings

KAPALUA, Hawaii (March 21, 2005) -- The 2010 Super Bowl could be approved for New York at the NFL owners meetings this week. Sort of.

Several team owners said they would look favorably on placing the championship game in New York for the first time. But it's all still a big uncertainty because the city would need to have an indoor stadium.

Considering what a political football the project for Manhattan's West Side has become, construction of such a home for the Jets is very problematic.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue supports staging a Super Bowl in New York and the NFL's Super Bowl committee unanimously agreed. The league will hold its third cold-weather Super Bowl next February in Detroit -- indoors, of course, in Ford Field. Never has the Big Apple had a bigger chance at snaring the host's role.

The Jets will make a presentation to all 32 owners either March 21 or 22 for conditional approval of the 2010 Super Bowl in New York.

"The Jets submitted the resolution, contingent on the West Side stadium being built and ready for the 2010 Super Bowl," league spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Among the obstacles to getting approval could be the fact the team won't play in the stadium until the 2009 season. NFL rules require a stadium to have been in use for two years before it hosts a Super Bowl, something Houston complied with in 2004 and Detroit will have done for next year. The Jets would not have done so.

While former mayor Rudolph Giuliani expressed his support for the stadium project over the weekend, the Jets are facing strong opposition from community groups and the owners of Madison Square Garden, who also are bidding for the land on which the stadium would be built.

Without the stadium, New York also won't have a chance of being selected to stage the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The Jets have committed $800 million for the stadium project, with the city and state required to raise the rest of what is planned to be a $1.5 billion total. Critics say the bill will be substantially higher.

Also on the agenda will be an update to the owners by Tagliabue on the primetime television contract that expires after the 2005 season. CBS and Fox have renewed their AFC and NFC contracts for a total of $8 billion over six years. But ABC and ESPN are still haggling over the prime-time packages, and several other networks publicly have stated an interest in being involved if ABC/ESPN drop out.

Owners also will look at several player safety issues and discuss a possible alteration to pass interference penalties.

Tagliabue will broach the collective bargaining agreement negotiations in his State of the NFL speech. There has been some movement in talks with the NFL Players Association to extend the contract that expires in 2008. The key issue is expanding the pool for the salary cap -- and thus the pool from which the players get their money -- to include additional revenue sources teams previously have kept for themselves.

An agreement in principle to expand the pool has been reached, but the main unresolved point is what percentage will go to the players.

"When it comes down to it, it's still about money," said Harold Henderson, the NFL's executive vice president for labor relations. "There's still quite a way to go on that."

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