January 30, 2023

Could the New York Jets return to Queens?

A New York Senator hopes this can happen.

Joe Addabbo, a Democratic Senator for New York’s 15th District and chairman of the state’s Race, Gaming and Betting Committee, wants the Jets to call Queens home again after the franchise moved the Empire State to New Jersey nearly 40 years ago has left.

“The return of the Jets to New York would be monumental,” Addabbo said via Legal Sports Report.

A 25,000-seat stadium for MLS club NYFC is to be built in the Willets Point neighborhood of Queens. The venue, which is expected to be completed by 2027, is part of a development project that will include a hotel and affordable housing.

Addabbo also sees this area near the New York Mets’ Citi Field as a potential site for a new Jets stadium.

“If you build a stadium – and I know it only seats 25,000 – but if you have that kind of incentive to build a stadium, if there’s an opportunity with the land and the expiring leases, then we can connect the dots why miss this opportunity?” said Addabbo. “They would have their own stadium, a newer, more technologically advanced stadium with all new amenities and everything. When the New York Jets go into a brand new stadium and the marketing behind it, it just blows it off the water.”

As Addabbo alluded to, the Jets have an impending opportunity to exit their 25-year lease at MetLife Stadium. The Jets and Giants both have the option to exit the stadium lease in 2025, provided they give the state of New Jersey 12 months’ notice. Both teams then have the same opt-out option every five years.

“Personally, it pains me to see the Giants and Jets called ‘New York Jets’ and ‘New York Giants’ — even if the Giants have ‘NY’ on their helmets — play in Jersey,” Addabbo said. “It hurts me.”

The Polo Grounds in Manhattan was the original home of the Jets from 1960 to 1963 before moving to Shea Stadium, the former home of the Mets, in 1964. After 20 years at Shea Stadium, the Jets left New York for Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in 1984.

The Jets and Giants entered into a joint agreement in 2005 to build MetLife Stadium, which cost $1.6 billion and opened in 2010. The Jets also opened a $75 million practice facility in Florham Park, NJ in 2008.

It’s unclear how much interest, if any, the Jets have in a retreat across the Hudson River. Addabbo admitted he thinks it’s a long shot but that won’t stop him from dreaming.

“It’s a huge Herculean longshot, I understand that,” said Addabbo. “But I hate missed opportunities.”

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