Women's World Cup Venue News: Giants Nix Meadowland PlansPublished June 9, 2003
|Women’s World Cup Nixed
For The Meadowlands
The NFL Giants "rejected a request" by the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) Friday "to bring the Women's World Cup soccer to the Meadowlands," according to Matthew Futterman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. The team told the NJSEA that "intense security requirements and the effort it would take to install a grass field for the soccer games would jeopardize the team's practice schedule during the first month of their season." Giants Exec VP John Mara said that it would be "'totally unacceptable' for the team not to have access to the stadium's field for 22 days between Aug. 25 and Sept. 28." Futterman wrote the decision "sets the stage for a potential courtroom showdown," as Mara said team officials are "prepared to enforce our rights under our lease." NJSEA CEO George Zoffinger "vowed [Friday] to fight the Giants," acknowledging that the team's lease "gives it the right to prohibit use of the stadium during September," but saying that permission to use the field "cannot be 'unreasonably withheld.'" Zoffinger: "This is too important for New Jersey and the country to let anything stand in our way. If they think they have the grounds to stop it, they are going to have to take their best shot at us" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 6/7).
OFF THE BEAT: In Atlanta, Wendy Parker reported WUSA Atlanta Beat execs are "hearing that the 15,000-seat capacity Herndon Stadium has been deemed too small" by FIFA's mandated minimum of "30,000 for matches not involving the U.S. team." The Beat "proposed expanding Herndon to 20,000 for just such a purpose." Beat GM Eddie Rockwell: "Everything we've heard is that they're looking at stadiums of 30,000 or more. They were pretty firm about that." Parker noted that while two of the "leading venues in U.S. Soccer's proposal to FIFA are both below 30,000" — Crew Stadium and The Home Depot Center — expanding them "would be a much easier feat than it would be at Herndon." USSF Dir of Communications Jim Moorhouse said that "between 15 to 20 venues have been proposed," and that final venue selections "would be announced within the next two weeks" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/8). USA TODAY's Chris Cowles reports the USSF will announce the venues Wednesday (USA TODAY, 6/9).
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