Press Release Article


Date: Mar 20, 2013
Press Release Number: 31-2013

Visitors will see spectacular panoramic view of NYC and surrounding region

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today voted to approve the selection of nationally renowned Legends Hospitality, LLC (Legends) to develop and operate the observation deck at the top of One World Trade Center. The facility, called One World Observatory, will occupy floors 100-102 at the iconic structure.

The Board’s vote followed yesterday’s call from Governors Cuomo and Christie to endorse the award of a contract to Legends to bring a world-class observation deck to what will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere when it reaches its final height of 1776 feet.

The building is a joint venture between The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and The Durst Organization. The selection of Legends follows a rigorous competition that resulted in six proposals from nationally known companies. The Port Authority and Durst narrowed the list to three finalists in September 2012.

Legends is among the most heralded and established companies in sports and entertainment and is renowned for delivering a variety of services at premier venues including Yankee Stadium and Cowboys Stadium. The firm is owned by the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, and the Checketts Partners Investment Fund.

In approving the project at today’s meeting, the Board noted the agreement provides significant private capital for the World Trade Center site without any additional Port Authority investment. The revenue will be a combination of fixed and variable rent, projected to be worth $875 million over the term of the 15-year lease. This transaction validates the agency’s long-standing plan to attract private capital and to continue to recoup the Port Authority’s substantial investment to rebuild the World Trade Center site.

“With today’s action we are once again leveraging private investment and expertise to ensure One World Trade Center serves as a center for jobs and commerce in our region,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “Legends has extensive experience in managing some of the country’s most successful sports and entertainment venues, so we are confident that One World Observatory will become the most recognizable and visited attraction in New York City.”

“This strategic partnership with Legends will provide New Yorkers and people from around the globe with the opportunity to experience One World Trade Center as a symbol of America’s resolve to rebuild and come back stronger,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “The project requires zero investment from the states or the Port Authority and will yield significant revenue during the life of the lease.”

“We look forward to working with Legends Hospitality, LLC at One World Trade Center,” said Jonathan (Jody) Durst, president of The Durst Organization. “The Observation deck will be one of the most exciting attractions in New York City and a terrific addition to Lower Manhattan.”

“We are extremely honored to be selected to develop and operate the One World Observatory,” said Dave Checketts, Chairman and CEO, Legends. “Our creative concept will provide an immersive, personal and memorable experience for all those who visit, evoking the strength, renewal and resilience that this iconic building stands for.”

One World Observatory will provide visitors with spectacular views of New York City and the surrounding region from above 1,250 feet. The 120,000 square foot facility is scheduled to open in early 2015. It will feature cutting-edge digital technology, dining options, a gift shop, special events space and the “See Forever” theater where visitors will learn about the building of One World Trade Center.

Visitors will board one of five dedicated state-of-the-art elevators that will be among the fastest lifts in the world to ascend to the top of the building in approximately 60 seconds. Admission to One World Observatory will be consistent with the cost of other similar world-class attractions and the venue will offer discounted rates to local school and community groups.

CONTACT: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


Founded in 1921, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in New York. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the state of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency relies on revenues generated by facility users, tolls, fees and rents as well as loans, bond financing, and federal grants to fund its operations. For more information, please visit

The Durst Organization, founded in 1915 by Joseph Durst, is the owner, manager and builder of 13 million square feet of premiere Manhattan office towers. The Durst Organization is recognized as a world leader in the development of high-performance and environmentally advanced commercial and residential property.

Legends Hospitality, LLC (, headquartered in New York, NY has created a legacy of success, delivery and results with the icons of global sports, entertainment and business. It consists of Legends Hospitality, the premier provider of general concessions, premium food & beverage, catering, retail merchandise and tours; Legends Sales and Marketing, an industry leader offering team owners, facility operators and athletic departments premium tickets sales and service, PSL sales execution, sponsorship and naming rights capabilities, CRM and sales training; and CSL International which provides project feasibility and economic impact studies, funding plans and business operational reviews. The Legends’ One World Observatory team includes The Hettema Group, Montroy Andersen DeMarco and JRM Construction.

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