The chances of the Giants and the Jets making football history by building a two-team stadium in the Meadowlands dimmed this week, with the teams at odds over everything from the shape of the stadium to the amount of retail space at the proposed complex.
Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, and executives of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority - who have given the Giants and the Jets until tomorrow to form a partnership for the stadium - have also grown increasingly frustrated with the Jets.
The Jets announced last week that they were simultaneously pursuing plans for a $1.35 billion stadium in a park in Queens, much to the embarrassment of New Jersey officials, who had said publicly that the team had assured them that it was committed to a new stadium in the Meadowlands.
Then, on Monday, L. Jay Cross, the Jets' president, sent the sports authority a long list of "preconditions" to both a joint venture with the Giants and an irrevocable agreement with the authority to remain in New Jersey. The Jets want to renegotiate a memorandum of understanding between the Giants and the state that makes the Jets an equal partner, according to executives involved in the discussions.
More important, the team is putting forward a number of demands that place it in direct conflict with not only the Giants and the sports authority but also with Xanadu, the $2 billion retail and entertainment complex that would share the property, the executives and team officials said.
Until these issues are resolved, Mr. Cross indicated that the team would continue to press forward with plans for a Queens stadium.
New Jersey officials were meeting last night with the Giants to determine their approach to the growing impasse. The sports authority could decide to compromise, or strike a deal solely with the Giants, leaving the Jets to hope for a stadium in Queens, or as a tenant in Giants Stadium.
"We think we've made a very fair proposal to the Jets," said John K. Mara, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Giants, shortly before meeting with state officials yesterday.
It has long been clear that Governor Codey wants a stadium deal before he leaves office. He approved an agreement that would provide the Giants and possibly the Jets with generous terms, including the right to develop 75 acres, up from the 29 acres now used by the teams.
The Jets have sought to buy time to line up their alternative in Queens, where their plans have gained the support of many elected officials. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who led the Jets' failed effort to build a stadium in Manhattan, has been reluctant to take a stand on the plan until after until after? Election Day.
But many civic groups in Queens are vowing to fight the plan, which would place the stadium on 15 acres in the middle of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, southeast of Shea Stadium. Civic leaders say that a project of that size would probably use even more land, and that the 18-story stadium would dominate the park.
"It's going to be a fight," said Patricia Dolan, president of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, which opposes the stadium. "They don't need this misery when they have a very lively alternative, in New Jersey"
In the Meadowlands, the Giants have proposed an 80,000-seat stadium that places all the premium seats and luxury boxes on the west side of the building. The Jets have proposed a 90,000-seat stadium that spreads the higher-priced seating throughout the stadium. The Jets also want the Giants to move their practice fields and offices away from the stadium, so that the area is "team-neutral." They have asked the state to provide two 28-acre sites within a 30-minute drive of the Meadowlands.
The Jets now say they are willing to compromise on the size of the stadium, but they want the Giants to scrap their plans and adopt the Jets' seating bowl and form a joint design team that would be headed by a Jets vice president, Bill Senn, an architect.
The Jets also want to build a 500-room hotel and expand the amount of retail space from 150,000 square feet to 600,000 square feet, two elements that would compete with Xanadu.