NJ Sports and Exposition Authority Must Not Release Nets from Lease

October 22, 2009

$8 Million Penalty for Breaking Long-Term Lease Should Stand

Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) issued the following statement regarding a report published in the Star-Ledger indicating that the New Jersey Nets are considering a move to the Prudential Center in Newark. The team currently plays at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands. In order to move to Newark, the Nets would require the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to forgive an $8 million penalty for breaking its lease.

“It would be disturbing if Governor Corzine considers allowing the Nets to move from the Meadowlands to Newark without fulfilling its contractual obligation to the Izod Center. The Nets signed the contract with the Izod Center and should be held to the terms of that contract.

“Any attempt by the Corzine Administration to force the NJSEA to waive the penalty for breaking the team’s lease would be nothing more than a transparent subsidy for the Prudential Center and Newark. To allow the NJSEA to ignore the penalty for breaking the lease would be a disservice to all of the taxpayers in the state who are subsidizing both locations. The move would have an especially detrimental effect on property taxpayers in Bergen County.

“The state must stop playing these two world class arenas against each other and forge an agreement that would ensure that both venues are profitable. Additionally, with the Nets project at Atlantic Yards seemingly tied up by endless eminent domain lawsuits, perhaps the New Jersey Nets should consider adding New Jersey back to their road uniforms.”