A rendering of
the New York Sports and
Expansion to the Jacob K. Javits
Convention Center looks like a reality. Less certain is
the New York Sports and Convention Center, an adjacent $1.4
billion, 75,000-seat New York Jets football stadium to double as
200,000 square feet of exhibit space.
In May, the owners of Madison Square Garden financed the New
York Association for Better Choices, which claims the project would
waste $600 million in tax money for a building not useful to
“We are concerned that stadium and convention uses are
fundamentally incompatible,” said Anna Levin, a founding member of
the NYABC and longtime opponent of a West Side stadium.
For proof, the NYABC turned to Chicago-based HVS Convention,
Sports & Entertainment Consulting. HVS showed that the three
stadium/convention center hybrids in the United States average 11
conventions each per year, far fewer than the 40 the Jets predict.
(A nonpartisan study settled on 20 events per year.)
The reason for such low occupancy at stadium/convention
centers, according to HVS, is that stadiums have higher heating,
ventilation and air-conditioning costs than purpose-built
convention centers, plus added hassle with move-in and
In response, the Jets have launched a major publicity campaign
of their own.
Meeting planners generally support the plan. Javits’ three
major show organizers all are in favor of the NYSCC. “People
underestimate the uses for this facility,” said Ken McAvoy, senior
vice president of operations for Reed Exhibitions, based in
At press time, the project’s fate was uncertain. The Jets hope
for a spring groundbreaking.