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Giants, Jets Football A Welcome Sight For MetLife Stadium Workers

MetLife Stadium is seen from Chopper 880 - East Rutherford, NJ - Sep 8, 2011 (credit: Tom Kaminski / WCBS 880)

MetLife Stadium is seen from Chopper 880 – East Rutherford, NJ – Sep 8, 2011 (credit: Tom Kaminski / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – We certainly don’t miss the NFL lockout.

Neither do the event employees at MetLife Stadium, who had feared that, without Giants and Jets football, they’d be out of work.

Tallying up parking attendants, security guards, ushers, ticket takers, janitors, merchandise sellers and concession workers, MetLife Stadium employs about 4,000 people on any given NFL Sunday, says Mark Lamping, the arena’s CEO.

Without football games in the fall and winter, those people don’t work, Lamping says. Only 80 employees are full-time and guaranteed a paycheck.

Concessions at the stadium are managed by a company called Delaware North, which has been stuffing NFL fans full of hot dogs and beer for more than 45 years and has weathered player strikes.

Delaware North also does concessions for the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams. The company’s payroll for staffing the six stadiums is $24 million. Then there are the food, plate and cup suppliers who count on Delaware North’s orders to stay in business.

“Everyone was on pins and needles,” says Rick Abramson, president of Delaware North’s Sportservice unit, who started his career as a vendor at Milwaukee County Stadium 40 years ago. “A missed season would be a problem for a lot of people because they’re counting on that money to make ends meet.”

While Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was angling for a contract that will guarantee millions upon millions of dollars over five years, veteran beer vendors were hoping they wouldn’t lose the supplemental income they count on six months out of the year. They take home about $150 per game, plus tips and commission.

Overall, Delaware North takes in about $100 million per year from food and drink sales at NFL events. The company also employs about 30,000 seasonal workers.

“It’s a great thing that they were able to resolve it,” says Delaware North owner Jerry Jacobs Jr. of the players’ agreement. “There was so much at stake.”

How happy are you that, after all the drama, football is starting on time? Let us know in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)