Corey Booker’s Letter to Governor Corzine:
According to a recent media account, the New Jersey Sports Exposition Authority (“NJSEA”) is preparing to hire an architect to improve Izod Arena as construction continues on the long- overdue, incomplete Xanadu project.
I am very concerned. Dennis Robinson’s statement that NJSEA is “very interested in hav ing the Nets remain at Izod Center long term …” is incomprehensible in the current environment. Should the Nets not build their project in Brooklyn, the Nets’ long-term home in New Jersey cannot be Izod. It must be in Newark.
It is fiscally irresponsible, particularly in these difficult economic times, for the State of New Jersey to expend a single additional public dollar or incur additional debt to support an outdated facility to retain the Nets when a state-of-the-art, world class center already exists in Newark. I urge you to veto the NJSEA minutes and not let this project move ahead. Xanadu is in difficult financial straits — to use that challenged project as the basis for further investment at the Izod Center makes absolutely no sense at this time. Investments in this financial climate, be they in the Meadowlands or Newark, must be a part of a larger regional solution — the current proposed expenditure does not do that.
This expenditure would clearly cause injury to Newark, further divide our state against itself and undermines current good-faith efforts by Newark and the NJSEA leadership to craft a larger vision for the Medowlands/Newark region that would ultimately produce a win-win scenario for us all.
I urge you to more actively join us in pursuit of such a win-win, NOT to add fuel and fire to the continued cannibalization of New Jersey venues to the detriment of two worthy communities. There is a better way. Please veto the minutes and join us in a far more constructive conversation about what will ultimately best serve New Jersey. Costly, piecemeal, shortsighted, and injurious decisions have no place in our current climate or at anytime.
Cory A. Booker
Mayor Booker is right on the money with this letter. Why should the state taxpayers be funding the NJSEA to compete with a brand new arena in Newark? The point of the Prudential Center is its role as a center post for the revitilization of New Jersey’s largest city. Investing in the Izod center as a competitive arena flies in the face of this goal.