HARRISON, N.J. (AP) – The MetroStars plan to build a $92.2 million stadium that would give the Major League Soccer club a home of its own.

The MetroStars are in their 10th season at Giants Stadium. The team announced Thursday it expected the new 20,000-seat venue to open in June 2007.

The team’s parent company, AEG, would own the stadium, foot the $92.2 million construction bill and pay operating costs. The company plans to schedule concerts, international soccer games and other events at the stadium.

The town of Harrison plans to raise the $40 million needed to buy the land for the stadium by issuing bonds. The MetroStars would pay $1 a year to rent the land, and make payments of $125,000 annually in lieu of taxes, officials said.

The deal makes the MetroStars the latest professional team to plan an exit from the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford.

The new owner of the New Jersey Nets is seeking to build an arena in Brooklyn, N.Y. The New Jersey Devils are building a hockey venue in Newark. The New York Jets want a football stadium in New York. If all those plans go through, the New York Giants would be the only professional team at the complex.

The new stadium would put the team in a mile-square town of only 14,000 people, but it lies in a densely populated, soccer-crazed swath of New Jersey.

It’s described as the centerpiece of a $1 billion redevelopment of the Passaic River waterfront. The plan needs approval from local officials.

AP-ES-08-04-05 1906EDT


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