Republicans appear to be testing out a new campaign issue: The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority’s (NJSEA) growing financial troubles.
State Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove) yesterday issued a release claiming that Governor Corzine has not addressed the Sports and Exposition Authority’s growing debt, which was outlined in a Sunday article in The Star-Ledger. The paper said that the agency is “effectively operating at a deficit” from losses in horse track betting and disappearing stadium revenues.
“The Sports & Exposition Authority, once a source of pride and generator of revenue for the state of New Jersey, now sounds as if it’s overleveraged, losing money and at risk of bankruptcy,” said O’Toole in a statement. “One can’t help but wonder how much of this fiscal crisis is due to eight years of shameless political wheeling and dealing over bungled arena, stadium and Meadowlands development projects.”
The Governor’s office declined to comment on O’Toole’s criticism.
NJSEA Spokesman John Samerjan said that part of the reason the agency has incurred debt is because of projects around the state, including convention centers in Atlantic City and Wildwood.
That the state has seen a dramatic decline in horse racing revenues due to competition from neighboring states is not news, and the governor created a commission to deal with the problem. They met yesterday in Oceanport.