Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in 2014 is supposed to be historical. It will mark the first time in NFL history that a Super Bowl has been played in a cold weather stadium, and the first hosted at the home of the New York Jets and New York Giants. Unfortunately, things have gotten off to a rocky start due to concerns over weather, the omission of the NFL Experience and, more recently, some political maneuvering courtesy of a group of New Jersey Mayors.
Michael Copley of The Record reports that a group of mayors from the Meadowlands District have threatened to prevent emergency services and police officers from working the event due, in large part, to lack of payment for previous municipality services unrelated to the Super Bowl itself.
"The stadium has done little to help offset any costs for the surrounding communities when larger events occur at the stadium," Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli said in a press release earlier this week. "With one of [the] world’s largest sporting events coming to the East Rutherford venue, there is little doubt that the mayors will be expecting a call that their services are needed. … The answer will be clear: don’t ask."
Gonnelli added that local towns will make a "concerted effort" to avoid participation in any and all events related to the Super Bowl.
"It is unfortunate that our neighbors would issue a press release of this nature at a time when most of the New Jersey and New York metropolitan region is working together to produce a great Super Bowl in February 2014," Hanlon said in the email. "[The Super Bowl] will have a tremendous positive impact on the region and the neighboring towns surrounding MetLife Stadium. [And] we are more than willing to meet with the mayors at any time to discuss their concerns and improve communications and relations."
Another issue, says East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella, is the deal the Giants and Jets received to build the stadium, which calls for $5 million annually in rent and more than $6 million annually in tax payments to East Rutherford.
"It’s probably the worst agreement for the state of New Jersey and for the taxpayers of New Jersey that’s ever been signed in the history of the state. It was just horrible," Cassella said recently. "Unfortunately, [the teams] don’t care about paying."
Carlstadt Mayor William Roseman added to Cassella's statement, saying "the teams have never been good corporate neighbors."
Once poised to be an incredible event, the NFL and local politicians seem to be going out of their way to ruin it. It's unfortunate for each of the local teams, whatever NFC and AFC teams will be represented in the Super Bowl and, most importantly, the fans.
There's still time to correct many of the issues facing the event, but as each day passes, the situation seems to get worse as opposed to better – and we here at Giants 101 have little faith the NFL and local politicians can get their heads out of their rear-ends in time.
Also…Football, MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, New York, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, Pat Hanlon