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October   5

A Deal With the Devil(s)

DevilIs anybody else worried about the implications of Monday's groundbreaking for a new Newark Arena -- a $350 million home for the New Jersey Devils, of which $210 million is coming from the City of Newark, which last we checked was still in the county of Essex? We are. And it doesn't reassure us that study after study finds that the public financing of sports arenas and stadiums is a waste of taxpayer money -- and usually the result of lobbying by special interests.

We find it odd, and vaguely troubling, that Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, who was at the groundbreaking, didn't send out a news release about the fact. Here's a guy who has a major press conference for opening a dog park in Bloomfield. He sends out media advisories every time a nickel is spent on a public park. But not a word about a publicly-financed arena deal in his county's biggest town?

It hardly seems auspicious for the Devils arena deal that a cemetery has to be torn up to make way for the new sports center.

The Giant-Jets stadium deal announced for the Meadowlands just a few days before the Newark Arena deal, by contrast, seems like a paragon of governmental propriety. The state is chipping in some land and $30 million worth of roadwork. But the football teams are at least paying the $800 million cost of building the new stadium themselves.

Maybe we Baristas just have a testosterone deficit, but somehow we suspect we're going to end up paying for sports facilities we'll never end up visiting. Rah rah.

October 5, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink


Remember what happened when the developers disturbed a cemetery in Poltergeist?!

Posted by: gc | Oct 5, 2005 6:32:32 AM

while i question the value of a hockey arena in newark, as well as the $350 million price tag, the arena is sharpe's baby, not joe d's. the press release should come from the mayor's office, not the county executive's.

Posted by: charlie | Oct 5, 2005 6:54:14 AM

"...the public financing of sports arenas is a waste of taxpayers money and usually the result of lobbying by special interests." I am shocked. Shocked, I say. (And it doesn't matter whose baby it is, Charlie, if we are all paying for its diapers.) But then again, if it wasn't for lobbyists and bagmen (and women, too), the unemployment rate would be much higher.

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Oct 5, 2005 7:56:08 AM

"And it doesn't reassure us that study after study finds that the public financing of sports arenas and stadiums is a waste of taxpayer money"

Good point.

Also the Devils keep winning the Stanley Cup - but still can't sell out games. Why would moving them to Newark change a lack of ticket sales? Is anyone more compelled to see them in a different arena? )(I'm honestly curious.)

Posted by: hrhppg | Oct 5, 2005 8:49:33 AM

What are they going to do with this arena when it's no longer hockey season? This is such a waste and a bad decision that it definitely is the brainchild of Sharpe James. I wonder what kind of kickbacks he's getting out of the deal? He wanted it so badly that it's obvious he's getting mega bucks somehow. It's a shame that the City of Newark is in such disarray and he's slobbering over an unnecessary hockey arena.

Posted by: Dana | Oct 5, 2005 8:49:45 AM

"In addition to acquiring the properties, another hurdle was clearing the cemetery of the Old First Presbyterian Church. Archaeologists expected to find 300 sets of remains but, in August, 40 additional archeologists were brought in because more than 2,300 sets were discovered."

See first post above.

Posted by: crank | Oct 5, 2005 8:53:51 AM

I hope the 'suburban' folks that support hockey aren't turned off or afraid becausse the arena is in Newark.

Posted by: frosty | Oct 5, 2005 9:09:32 AM

The New Math:

Hockey=violence. Newark=violence. Hockey+Newark=success.

Posted by: Jim | Oct 5, 2005 9:50:59 AM

That is money that could have gone to schools and is desperately need there. I am very disappointed.

Posted by: lasermike026 | Oct 5, 2005 9:56:35 AM

One questoin - has anyone who posts here gone to anything at NJPAC or gone to see the Newark Bears?

Posted by: hrhppg | Oct 5, 2005 10:04:47 AM

Why go to NJPAC, they do no original work and the originals are as close as NYC. I'm a fan of Newark, but not NJPAC.

Same with the Bears, not a huge baseball fan, but we have our 'own' team.

Posted by: Kevin Lee Allen | Oct 5, 2005 10:13:16 AM

Kevin: I have to agree with you. I've been to NJPAC just a handful of times and I have to say that each time, I was underwhelmed. Just plain meh. Why can't they get acts like those featured at Brooklyn Art Museum (BAM), which, for example, featured Laurie Anderson a few years back?

Posted by: Lustmord | Oct 5, 2005 10:19:04 AM

NJPAC seems to try to appeal to people who don't go to concerts. I've been to many excellent performances there, but the program is pitched to be all things to all people.

Posted by: walleroo | Oct 5, 2005 10:45:42 AM

The areas around NJPAC and the Newark Bears Staduium aren't a problem. I go to Seton Hall Law, which is in that area and I've noticed a heavy Newark Police presence. The thing I don't understand is why that same police presence isn't felt in the areas that need it most. Newark, if viewed from the Bears stadium to NJPAC, isn't that bad. The problem, however, is the real Newark. If the mayor can clean up "downtown," why can't he do the same in the ghetto? Just think of what $210 Million could have done for those areas.

Posted by: Dana | Oct 5, 2005 11:16:07 AM

Congrats on being in law school. Maybe someday you can be Chelsea Clinton's legal advisor in the White House.

Posted by: frosty | Oct 5, 2005 12:27:58 PM

Can you translate that for me, Frosty? I don't really understand what you're getting at or why it came after that post. I did wake up feeling groggy today, so I apologize for requesting some clarification.

And one more question: Donde esta mi amigo "John L?"

Posted by: Dana | Oct 5, 2005 12:52:06 PM

I don't do Spanish, unfortunately, I studied Latin for 4 years. Amo, Amas, Amat.
I was congratulating you on your matriculation as a law student. And noting that when you are a successful lawyer, you could be working as the legal counsel to Madame President, Chelsea Clinton.

I only use John L. when I'm getting down and dirty with politcal commentary. Frosty is alter ego.

Posted by: frosty | Oct 5, 2005 1:18:47 PM

Wait one second, like I said, today is not a great day for me...are Frosty and John L really one in the same?

I don't believe it.

Posted by: Dana | Oct 5, 2005 1:41:21 PM

Believe it, Madam Counselor. I am one and the same.

Posted by: John L | Oct 5, 2005 1:45:51 PM

Being the fervent conspiracy theorist that I am, I still refuse to believe it.

Posted by: Dana | Oct 5, 2005 1:52:36 PM


"What are they going to do with this arena when it's no longer hockey season?"

If the Devils keep winning, there are only 3, perhaps 3 and a half months of the year that aren't hockey season.

Posted by: the summer of noise | Oct 5, 2005 2:01:10 PM

Click on the names and you'll see the same email address...I don't have anything to hide. Can't a compassionate conservative have a little fun without an alterior motive?

Posted by: frosty | Oct 5, 2005 2:01:48 PM

Alright, John L. a/k/a Frosty a/k/a Ol' Frosty, I finally believe you.

I guess there really were weapons of mass destruction...

Posted by: Dana | Oct 5, 2005 2:08:40 PM

I don't go to NJPAC because I'd rather go to Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall. I don't go to any Bears games because I'd rather go to a Yankees or Mets game (or Jersey Jackals in Montclair if I wanted to see a AA game).

That being said, I would go to NJPAC if they offered something unique, different, and high-quality that was not offered in NYC. Nationally-recognized celebrity/star performers would be a key attraction, too. But if you were a celebrity/star performer, would you rather go to Newark or New York City? And which venue is more likely to pay your high fees?

Posted by: Jim | Oct 5, 2005 3:43:32 PM

I attended one event at NJPAC and would go there again if they host something that I am interested in. I will NEVER support another sports arena. Prior to moving to Montclair, Neal and I lived in the Rutherford/E. Rutherford area, i.e. near the Meadowlands sports complex. Traffic was a nightmare on days where sporting events and concerts where held. I shudder to think what the Xanadu project will do to that area. Do we really need another sports complex in NJ? Isnt' there enough traffic already in downtown Newark?

Posted by: Denise O'Shea | Oct 5, 2005 3:57:16 PM

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