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AEG Kicks In $30 Million For MLS Stadium

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Major League Soccer team Metro-Stars are on their way to getting a 20,000 to 25,000-seat, $130 million stadium built, following approval by Harrison, NJ mayor Raymond J. McDonough and the City Council. MetroStar parent company AEG is contributing $30 million to the project. The stadium is part of a $460 million project, which will develop 135 acres to include office and retail space, apartment and lofts, and a 4,000-car garage.

Pending approval at the county level, the Metros are hoping for a mid-October or November groundbreaking and to start the 2006 in the new facility; the Metros have been paying more than $150,000 a game to lease Giants Stadium.

Having their own stadium, "means everything to our business,” said MetroStars GM Nick Sakiewicz. “We draw crowds, generate sponsor revenue and better TV ratings than some of the other teams, and we're unable to make a profit at Giants Stadium. I can say confidently Year One we'll be cash flow positive in Harrison.” Sakiewicz estimates a $6-7 million swing in profits.

The open air stadium will have two roof structures, one on each sideline, a permanent stage configuration built into one end of the building, a state-of-the-art natural grass field, 20 to 27 luxury suites, a large club area and first-class amenities. Sakiewicz says they’re in discussions with companies for a naming rights deal but there’s nothing official. The stadium’s name right now is the MetroStars Stadium at Metros Center in Harrison, NJ. – Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner