Thursday, August 04, 2005

It’s Really Happening!

Five years ago, former Metro GM Nick Sakiewicz set out to build a soccer-specific stadium for the MetroStars in Harrison, NJ. The stadium would be built as part of a development that included retail, restaurants, housing, office space, and parking on the banks of the Passaic River, adjacent to a PATH station connection to/from Manhattan.

Today, after nearly eighteen hundred days of delays, deals that fell apart, and broken promises, the MetroStars, NJ Governor Codey, and other local, state, and national officials announced that the project will become reality. Ground will be broken on the MetroStars stadium this fall, with a June 2007 projected opening.

In recent days, AEG, the parent company of the MetroStars that also owns the Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy, and San Jose Earthquakes, agreed to fund the stadium without any public support of the project. Paraphrasing AEG Entertainment President Tim Lieweke, “We realize that New York is too important a market to have a team without a top flight facility. We believe the area deserves a top-flight home for a top-flight team." Metro fan Jay Goppingen attended the press conference, held in 95 degree heat at the Harrison Public Library. His photos from the site can be found here.

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