BY JOHN BRENNAN
STAFF WRITER |
John Mara, a co-owner of the Giants, and Woody Johnson, the owner of the Jets, said this week that they are interested in bringing another Super Bowl to the metropolitan area, touting what they described as the success of the event that MetLife Stadium hosted in February 2014.
“I’ve spoken to Woody Johnson about it, and yeah, we think it would make sense to try to bring it back,” Mara told reporters at the NFL meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., on Sunday. “We think it was very successful, it was great for the region, so why not have it back?”
But many North Jersey officials are far less enthusiastic about the idea, saying that the previous game did little to stimulate the economy in the Meadowlands.
Asked if he would like to see another Super Bowl in his borough, Mayor James Cassella of East Rutherford replied: “If things were going to be run the same way as last time, then no. If they made some changes, I’d have to see.”
Michael Gonnelli, the mayor of Secaucus, was equally blasé on Wednesday.
“I have to tell you, it was a non-event for us in more ways than one,” Gonnelli said. “We didn’t see a lot of increased business for hotels and restaurants, and we didn’t see an impact on traffic. The problem was that it was billed as a New York Super Bowl, not New Jersey. We didn’t see benefits.”
The two mayors, along with state Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, and Jim Kirkos, the chief executive of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber, all pointed to the necessity of avoiding a repeat of the massive delays that hindered fans who took trains to and from Secaucus Junction and MetLife Stadium on game day. The league’s estimate that 10,000 fans would take NJ Transit trains to the 82,500-seat stadium fell more than 20,000 short of the actual number who used the service, creating departure delays of up to two hours after the game ended.