Meadowland Mayors could refuse emergency services during Super Bowl
Two disgruntled Meadowlands mayors are threatening to withhold the utilization of local resources – such as police and emergency service – to the organizers during Super Bowl XLVIII next year.
In a lengthy statement, the mayors of Carlstadt and Secaucus claim that the MetLife Stadium was the product of a deal voters would have never approved if given the chance, and the team owners got away without paying their fair share on the project costs.
"The (MetLife) stadium … has done little to help offset any costs for the surrounding communities when larger events occur at the stadium," said Secaucus mayor Michael Gonnelli. "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," continued Gonnelli: "Don't ask."
“The teams have never been good corporate neighbors to the region,” Carlstadt mayor William Roseman added about the New York Giants and Jets. “The teams don’t care about budget caps and what the impacts are on the taxpayers of Carlstadt.”
William Roseman also accused that preparations for past events organized at the stadiums created overtime expenses for the utilization of local resources and workforce, which the local municipals were never compensated for by the teams.
“I had to cut back my police department budget by a total of a million dollars over the last several years,” accused William Roseman. “While we are forced to lay off Police Officers, the owners of the Jets and Giants are filling their pockets at taxpayers’ expense.”
Michael Gonnelli vowed to make a "concerted effort to make sure the region's towns do not participate in any Super Bowl planning or activity that will require the towns to pick up any costs” for the event.
However, William Roseman said on Monday that he was still hoping to address his concerns to the Super Bowl organizers and reach a solution before kickoff. William Roseman also indicated the region would be willing to provide emergency services for the Super Bowl, if the local municipal is compensated for its costs.
“I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing to request. We feel as though we give and we give and we give and we get nothing back. And we just can’t give anymore,” said William Roseman. “We can’t afford it.”
After the over 30 minutes blackout at Superdome during Super Bowl this year, the NFL will be hoping to put out all the stops on another potential PR disaster at such a high profile event next year. Absence of proper emergency services could spell major disaster in the league’s efforts.
However, the NFL has plenty of time and (after the recent Super Bowl incident) enough motivation to reach an arrangement with the city officials. Otherwise, it could also be interesting to see if NFL would be willing to take a cut from its $9 billion annual revenue to hire private security, EMTs and medical personnel to make the event safe.
Suddenly the unpredictability of Mother Nature doesn’t seem like the biggest threat to next year’s Super Bowl.