The Jets haven’t called New York home since 1983. That was their last game at Shea Stadium before moving to East Rutherford, where they’ve been ever since. New York Senator Joe Addabbo is sick and tired of it, folks. He not only wants to bring the Jets back to New York, but he also wants to bring them back to Queens. And we’re specifically talking about Willets Point.
This area, which is already home to Citi Field, will soon begin construction on a 25,000-seat stadium for NYCFC that’s scheduled to open in 2027. Addabbo clearly wants everyone to think a little bigger than that.
As initially reported by Mike Mazzeo of Legal Sports Report, the Jets (or Giants) both have an opportunity to opt-out of their 25-year stadium lease at MetLife in 2025. The main condition is if either team wants to, they need to give New Jersey 12 months of notice.
Here’s a bit of what Addabbo had to say about this situation:
If you’re building a stadium — and I know it’s only 25,000 seats — but if you’ve got that kind of incentive to build a stadium, if the opportunity is there with the land and the expiring leases, we can connect the dots, why miss this opportunity?
They’d have their own stadium, a newer, more technologically-advanced stadium, with all-new amenities and everything. To go into a brand-new stadium as the New York Jets and the marketing behind it, that just blows it out of the water.
The wound of the Jets’ failed attempt to get a West Side stadium during 2004-05 is clearly still fresh for the senator. He was on the City Council during that time.
Does this sound like a great idea? In theory, it absolutely does. There are lots of variables and tough conversations that would need to happen, which Addabbo acknowledges:
This is a huge, Herculean longshot, I get that. But I hate missed opportunities.
You can’t fault him for shooting his shot, though. Even if it doesn’t look like it’ll work for multiple reasons, there’s nothing wrong with planting the seed and having some conversations about it.