Chargers official says
it’s 50-50 Hawaii will
host a 2006 exhibition

There's a 50-50 chance an NFL preseason game will be played at Aloha Stadium in 2006, according to Jim Steeg, chief operating officer of the San Diego Chargers.

Steeg told the Star-Bulletin last month he is interested in such a game. He is scheduled to meet with officials in Honolulu after the NFL meetings on Maui end today.

Steeg is the former NFL senior vice president in charge of special events, including the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

"Since working the Pro Bowl all those years that was always the thing: When can we get an NFL preseason game? When I was here in February I told them that if you put together the right deal we (the Chargers) would be interested," Steeg said in a CBSSportsline.com article yesterday. "So I think we're going to do some talking this week to see what the possibilities are."

Steeg said there are two possible opponents for the Chargers, but would not identify them. Logical choices would be the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos because of geography and popularity in Hawaii.

The 49ers beat the Chargers 17-16 in an NFL preseason game at Aloha Stadium on Aug. 21, 1976. The previous week, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chargers 20-10 in Japan.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and state tourism liaison Marsha Weinert both support the idea of an NFL preseason game here, but both also agree any financial investment must come from private sources.

The state pays the NFL $4 million a year to host the Pro Bowl.

National Football League


Bid for NYC Super Bowl
contingent on stadium

KAPALUA, Hawaii » New York moved a step closer to getting the 2010 Super Bowl yesterday when an NFL committee approved the Jets' bid to get the game -- contingent on the construction of a new stadium on the West Side of Manhattan.

The approval by the league's Super Bowl advisory committee came a day after the Jets upped their bid for the rights to build on the land to $720 million, surpassing the $700 million from an energy company and the $600 million from Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden. The Dolan family, which owns Cablevision, has been in a bitter fight to block construction of the stadium.

The Jets initiated the move to get the 2010 game at this meeting, hoping it would help their chances of building the stadium. But whether it will be built is still a major question -- the city and state support it, but numerous political groups in New York oppose it.

"It's a great step for New York, but the final step is tomorrow," Jets owner Woody Johnson said of the Super Bowl bid. "I hate to prejudge what the guys might do. But today is a good sign."

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who has supported a Super Bowl in New York since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, backed the bid. League owners are expected to approve it today, contingent on the stadium being built. The 2009 Super Bowl has not yet been awarded. Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Tampa are bidding for the game, which is expected to be awarded at meetings this spring.

The Jets, who currently play at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, have committed $800 million for the stadium project, with the city and state required to raise the rest of what is expected to be a $1.7 billion total.

Meanwhile, the owners continued to debate the labor negotiations that are essentially three-sided -- between the league and the players' union on one side and among the "have" and "have-not" owners on the other. There are some low-revenue teams that would like what amounts to a luxury tax on teams with considerable outside revenues for the pool that will eventually go to the players.

Tagliabue said Monday he would consider holding a special league meeting on April 19 if he could make progress in talks. NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw, who is vacationing in Hawaii, said Monday that Tagliabue had contacted him about meeting here this week, although there was no indication there had been any talks yesterday.

Dallas' Jerry Jones, one of the leaders of the high-revenue group, said after yesterday's owners session that there had been a lot of discussion of the subject.

"We share more revenue than any sport ever has and it's been very successful," Jones said. "Players have benefited substantially from the system we have now."

As for the New York Super Bowl, NFL rules require that a championship game site has to be used by a team for two seasons before the game is played -- a rule that is expected to be waived for this bid because the new stadium with a retractable roof won't be ready until the 2009 season.

The $720 million bid by the Jets was made to the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which owns the railroad yards that would be the main site for the stadium. It is adjacent to the Javits Convention Center and three blocks west of Madison Square Garden.

Johnson would not comment on bid details, referring all inquiries to the MTA.

MTA officials said they received five offers for the property before bidding ended Monday, but two bidders were immediately disqualified. The MTA hopes to decide by March 31.

A third bidder, TransGas Energy Systems LLC, previously made the highest bid, but the deal has several contingencies and would be the most complicated.

The city also hopes the stadium will help it land the 2012 Summer Olympics. New York is bidding against Paris, London, Madrid and Moscow, with the International Olympic Committee due to select the site on July 6.

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