|View from MetLife Stadium facing the proposed ski slope at American Dream|
On Friday, the New York Giants and New York Jets filed a lawsuit against the developers of the "American Dream" mall complex currently under construction in the Meadowlands. If successful, the lawsuit would block the creation of the United States' first indoor ski slope.
American Dream is a proposed mall complex near Secaucus, NJ. Sports fans are likely already familiar with the area as the Meadowlands is home to MetLife Stadium, home of the Jets and Giants. The New Jersey Nets and Devils used to play at the nearby Izod center.
American Dream (formerly known as "Xanadu") has been plagued since the outset by cost overruns which have placed the project in jeopardy of collapse. In fact, the project likely would have failed entirely if not for about $400M in assistance from the state of New Jersey in the form of tax credits and loans.
The reason American Dream is relevant to Ski, Esq. is the large protrusion shown in the upper left of the picture - a 600' indoor ski slope, which would be the first of its kind in the United States. Popular in Europe and Dubai, the indoor skiing craze has yet to catch on in the US. Whether American Dream's ski slope would be hit or an epic flop is yet to be seen, but what is not up for debate is that the Meadowlands has a parking problem.
As you can see in the picture above, on game days, people park in the large concrete parking structure adjoining American Dream. Thousands of people stream across the overpass to access MetLife Stadium. The teams have requested that the mall owners close during Jets and Giants games to allow for adequate parking. Mall owners have steadfastly refused to close for the 20 days a year the Jets and Giants play home games (8 regular season and 2 preseason games apiece).
Lest anyone think parking is a minor issue, Ski, Esq. can report from personal experience with land use matters in the state of New Jersey, that parking is a very big deal in the Garden State. Municipalities routinely reject applications where parking is insufficient for an intended use. Reports indicate the parties are still in negotiations over a possible compromise.