Fan is suing New York Giants, Jets for $6B because they really play in New Jersey
TRENTON – For a long time, though not as fervently in recent years, New Jersey politicians and sports fans have wanted the Jets and Giants to drop New York from their name since they play their home games in East Rutherford.
Now a lawsuit from a fan in New York City demands a different resolution: Make the teams relocate to New York in 2025 or put New Jersey in their name – and pay $6 billion in damages.
A class-action federal lawsuit filed this week in Manhattan by Greenwich Village resident Abdiell Suero, on behalf of all Giants and Jets fans living in New York, claims the teams “syphoned billions of dollars from interstate commerce that should have been rightfully spent in the state of New York.”
“If the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Liberty, Rangers, and other New York franchises must play in New York and pay premium real estate costs and taxes to be branded a ‘New York’ sports franchise, it is only fair that the NFL Giants and Jets do the same or change their name,” says the lawsuit.
NY 'much more ... valuable brand' than NJ
The lawsuit claims 90% of the local Giants and Jets fan population lives in New York, by comparing the population of New York City with Bergen County.
“New York is a much more recognizable, powerful and valuable brand than New Jersey due to its name recognition in the media, literature, music, movies, popular culture and a variety of other quantifiable reasons including sports championships won by New York teams, its famous residents and landmarks, trillion-dollar infrastructure, and numerous other attributes which make New York an iconic local, regional, national, and international brand,” it says.
Suero complains about the time and expense of having to travel to and from MetLife Stadium. The lawsuit claims many NFL fans attending Giants or Jets games for the first time are unaware the games are in New Jersey and that many would not attend “if they were warned in advance that they play in the state of New Jersey.”
'Depression, sadness and anxiety'
“As Giants and Jets fans, plaintiff and the class are insulted, ridiculed, harassed, tormented, and bullied by NFL fans around the United States due to the affiliation of the Giants and Jets with the state of New York rather than their true home, New Jersey,” the lawsuit said, causing fans to suffer “mental and emotional damages including depression, sadness and anxiety.”
The Giants have played in the Meadowlands since 1976. The Jets have played there since 1984.
The lawsuit seeks $2 billion in monetary damages and $4 billion in punitive damages.
In a statement, the Giants said “this case has no merit and we will defend it vigorously.” The Jets didn’t comment.
The lawsuit also goes after MetLife Stadium for describing itself as “the number one stadium in the world,” saying that there are around 27 sports stadiums and arenas around the world that are larger.
“The stadium does not have a dome or retractable roof, so spectators are uncomfortably hot or cold for most games, and the location in East Rutherford, New Jersey is hardly ideal,” the lawsuit said. “The transportation system to and from MetLife Stadium does not contain sufficient infrastructure. MetLife Stadium is clearly not the ‘number one stadium in the world.’”
Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at email@example.com.