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City of New York v. New York Jets Football Club, Inc.

394 N.Y.S.2d 799 (1977)

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City of New York v. New York Jets Football Club, Inc.

New York Supreme Court

394 N.Y.S.2d 799 (1977)

Facts

The City of New York (plaintiff) constructed Shea Stadium (Shea) at great cost, requiring legislative approval for leasing Shea. Shea was constructed to benefit various public interests. The New York Jets (defendant) leased the use of Shea from the city. Under the lease, the Jets were required to play all their home football games after September 1 of each year at Shea. The New York Mets baseball team also leased Shea from the city for home games, and the Mets’ lease had priority over game scheduling during the regular season of baseball and a post-season period when playoff or World Series games might occur. The Jets and the National Football League (NFL) (defendant) were aware of the Mets’ lease; numerous other NFL teams shared their home stadiums with baseball teams. For 13 years, the Jets and the Jets’ predecessor were able to successfully accommodate the Mets’ schedule, scheduling home football games at Shea without conflicts. In 1977, however, the Jets and the NFL scheduled two home games (September 25 and October 2) on dates that could not possibly be played at Shea because of a scheduled Mets’ game or event. The Jets sought to have the games played at a larger facility in New Jersey. New York sued the Jets and the NFL for injunctive relief to stop any games from being scheduled at a location other than Shea. The Jets and the NFL opposed the complaint and request for injunction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Baer, J.)

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