Citing new facilities in Baltimore and Cleveland, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue thinks the time is right for building new football stadiums in major cities.
But he made no commitment toward the proposed facility on Manhattan's West Side.
"What's happening today is the cities are coming back--New York is back, Cleveland is back, Baltimore is back," Tagliabue said in a speech Friday at New York Law School. "A big part of that is public-private investment in the center city, and stadiums have been a big part of that."
The new city stadiums reverse a trend of NFL teams--such as the Giants and Jets--opting for stadiums in the suburbs. The Detroit Lions play in Pontiac, Mich., and the New England Patriots left Boston for Foxboro, Mass.
In New York, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has outlined plans for a new domed stadium near the Hudson River--a project that could cost an estimated $1 billion. Tagliabue offered no promises of financial aid if New York decides to build a new stadium for the Jets, whose lease at Giants Stadium expires in 2008.