SECAUCUS AND BEYOND – With five Meadowlands area municipalities refusing to provide services to Super Bowl 2014, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) President Wayne Hasenbalg said Thursday he is open to providing some form of compensation to towns like Secaucus and Carlstadt.
Super Bowl 2014 is scheduled to take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Feb. 2.
Hasenbalg and MetLife Stadium CEO Brad Mayne on Wednesday met with Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli and Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman in response to their announcements in recent weeks that their towns would not provide police, fire, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and other municipal services during the Super Bowl.
The mayors took that stance after a long history of dealing with NFL teams they said “have never been good corporate neighbors to the region.”
According to a statement issued by the mayors earlier this month, MetLife Stadium, owned by the New York Jets and the New York Giants, has done little to help offset any costs for the surrounding communities when larger events occur at the stadium.
However, after meeting on Wednesday, both parties were optimistic a solution was possible.
“I really thought this meeting was productive,” said Hasenbalg. He has agreed to meet with all of the Meadowlands area mayors to further discuss the matter. “We are not in a position to negotiate a deal because we don’t have all the info we need, but I am completely open.”
He added, “I am not closing the door on the possibility because this is a special event and there might be impacts that warrant us for providing some form of compensation.”
“It went really well,” said Gonnelli of the meeting last week. “I think something good will come out it.”
Gonnelli added that Hasenbalg and Mayne listened and gained a “much better understanding” of how the towns extend municipal services to cover events for MetLife Stadium.
Hasenbalg called the meeting “informative” and said, for example, that he learned more about the role of the Secaucus police and fire departments in matters that involve the Secaucus train station.
However, he said that it was still too “premature” to make any motion on the matter because “all the details of events…and our needs have not been settled in regard to this Super Bowl.”
He said that there “is a lot yet still in motion,” and that the actual site plan for the stadium has not been finalized.