The economic impact of developing a multi-use youth and amateur sports/event and convention center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex is the featured discussion at Mdest 2023, the annual Thought Leaders Conference hosted by the Meadowlands 2040 Foundation and Meadowlands Live! Convention Center & Visitors Bureau.
Speakers include Meadowlands 2040 Foundation Chair Fletch Creamer Jr.; Meadowlands Chamber Chair Dan Baer; Hunden Strategic Partners CEO Rob Hunden; Northstar Travel Group Content Director Loren Edelstein; Alliance for Action President Jerry Keenan; and Regional Planning Association NJ Director Zöe Baldwin.
The conference takes place on Friday, Feb. 17 at the MCHQ, 1099 Wall Street West, Suite 110, Lyndhurst. The event begins at 8:15 a.m. with registration and a networking breakfast; the presentation runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Register for the event online, call 201-939-0707, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Meadowlands Sports Complex is comprised of MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and New York Jets; the Meadowlands Racetrack, with thoroughbred and harness racing; the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, where the Giants practice; and the American Dream retail and entertainment complex, the second largest mall in America.
The proposed 460,000-square-foot multi-use convention center would be built on land belonging to the sports authority, located between Rt. 120 and the sports complex, where the former Izod Center still stands. The facility would offer 60,000 square feet of banquet space; 100,000 square feet for meetings; and 300,000 square feet for conventions and sporting events.
A viability study and analysis completed in October 2021 determined there’s a shortage of convention center space in the North Jersey and New York City region and pointed to the benefits of a multi-use facility that would cater to conventions, events and youth and amateur sports. Currently, there is no existing facility at the Meadowlands Sports Complex to handle the fan experience of a big event like the Super Bowl, which was hosted at MetLife Stadium in 2014. It was the first Super Bowl played outdoors in a cold-weather city.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford is one of 16 hosts of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The former Giants Stadium hosted seven games for the men’s FIFA World Cup in 1994 and the opening match for the women’s FIFA World Cup in 1999.
Aside from the financial and other perks of accommodating big household name events, amateur and youth sports tourism generated a total economic impact of $91.8 billion in 2021, according to the Sports Events and Tourism Association. Youth and amateur sport-specific venues have spurred more than $9 billion in spending since 2017, according to the Sports Business Journal.