- Wednesday, October 24, 2012
- NJ Chamber
Wayne Hasenbalg, CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, had lunch with New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Cornerstone members at the Meadowlands Renaissance hotel on October 24 and discussed huge events coming to New Jersey, including the Super Bowl in 2014 and WrestleMania in 2013 – both of which will generate tens of millions of dollars for the Garden State economy.
The Super Bowl will be played at MetLife Stadium – the home of the Jets and the Giants - at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J. on February 2, 2014, the first cold-weather setting for the nation's biggest football game of the year. It's more than a game. People will be flocking here for a week's worth of events in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area leading up to the big game, he said.
"Both teams will be staying at New Jersey hotels, and you are talking about hundreds of thousands of people coming to the state," Hasenbalg said. His office is working with dozens of agencies and groups to manage every possible detail of the National Football League's showcase game from logistics to security to mass transportation – right down to contingency plans should the area be hit be a major blizzard on game day, he added.
Hasenbalg talked about WrestleMania, the nation's biggest professional wrestling event, coming to the MetLife Stadium on April 7, 2013. "Don't sell it short," Hasenbalg said. "WrestleMania is almost as big as the Super Bowl. It is a week's worth of events. The last one in Miami had a $100 million impact on the area."
Then there is the decision to postpone the Grand Prix of America's Formula One race in Northern New Jersey from 2013 to 2014. He attributed the postponement to the $100 million event's unique challenges – turning the streets of Weehawken and West New York into part of the race's 3.2-mile course, the regulatory hurdles and safety concerns that need to be met. "Could we have done it as originally announced in 2013? Probably. But we want to make sure we do it right. This is the first time we are doing it and the world will be watching."
Meanwhile, there have been significant changes in the way business is done by the Sports Authority, Hasenbalg reported. "Governor Christie repositioned the authority so we get away from managing events or venues," he said. "We are now the lead agency for promoting New Jersey and we are focused on attracting sports and entertainment events."
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