EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: Plan for new Jets Stadium in Flushing, Queens.
In the eleventh hour, with dire hopes of keeping the NY Jets where they belong….in New York, a plan has been put together to bring the team where they should have never left, Flushing, Queens.
The plan however, is not at Willets Point, where many have speculated, but right in the center of Flushing Meadow Corona Park at the current site of the Fountain of the Planets which at the 1964 Words Fair was a big attraction. In 2005, it’s an eyesore of dirty water and garbage. The stadium would be just north of Unisphere and in close proximity to the National Tennis Center and the new Shea Stadium. (See exclusively obtained proposed site map
Reportedly the Willets Point site was rejected due to the heavy task of relocating over 100 businesses and environmental issues.
The plan makes sense and according to today’s NY Post, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said she would be willing to give the land to the Jets in return of the Jets replacing the lost acreage and adding some amenities to the park. It’s a fair deal that would finally bring the Jets home again to the sound of real Jets passing overhead from nearby LaGuardia Airport.
Marshall is scheduled to meet with Jets President Jay Cross next week to discuss the plan.
The Flushing plan comes in the wake of outrage from a large percentage of the Jets’ fanbase at the prospect of permanently moving to New Jersey and sharing a new stadium with the Giants which has been proposed by New Jersey Governor Richard Codey. The plan would also reportedly include the Jets moving their entire operations from Hofstra University on Long Island where they have been since 1974 to New Jersey.
A poll taken this week on Jets Insider.com clearly shows the fans are against such a move. By nearly a 3-1 margin (See Poll), the poll chooses a move back to Queens over a shared stadium in NJ. Earlier this week, the team sent a letter from Cross to their e-mail list asking for feedback on this matter and according to a source within the team, the Jets’ front office has been bombarded with calls and e-mails against a NJ move. Apparently the team is listening.
Team owner Woody Johnson should be commended. He has spent years of his time and millions of dollars trying to bring the Jets back to NY. If not for beaurocrats like Sheldon Silver and Joseph Bruno (with the help of Cablevision) the Jets would be readying to break ground on Manhattan’s West Side. However, now that the West Side deal is dead, it should not deter the owner in his quest to bring the Jets home. Flushing is the next best thing and theoretically is the real home of the NY Jets.
No matter what the new Meadowlands stadium is called, rest assured the team will NEVER step out of the Giants’ shadow with a shared stadium. Short term, the Jersey deal may be more profitable but long term in terms of the Team’s legacy and the hearts of all New Yorkers who have been fans of this team and were promised that someday they would be back where they belong, the deal is a loser.
Let me conclude with this: I am writing this as a Fan who has supported this team for over 30 years. I am not writing it as an impartial journalist. I am from New York and believe this team belongs in New York. I would not even begin to describe the betrayal I would feel if this franchise moved everything to New Jersey. In an interview published by Jets Insider.com in June (CLICK HERE) following the West Side defeat, the Jets owner said the following:
“Our Fans should by no means lose heart,” said Johnson. “This team was built by the loyal Jet fans and that loyalty carries with the team every time they walk out onto a playing field, no matter where that playing field is. Today I can’t tell you where the team will play in the future or what tunnel they will run out of in 2009, but whatever we do, we’ll do it together and we will always be the New York Jets. I’ve heard the jokes about us becoming the New Jersey Jets and I assure you that will never happen.”
My hope is that Woody sticks to his word and brings the Jets back to Queens where they belong.
**Editors Note: If you want your voice heard on this issue, e-mail Jets President Jay Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us bring our Jets back home.