During his tenure as the Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has earned a reputation for speaking his mind without going through the usual political machinations of trying to make everyone like him.
He’s sticking to his guns when it comes to a lawsuit filed by the Giants and Jets to stop construction on a massive mall/water park/amusement park project next to MetLife Stadium. The teams say they are concerned about disruptions on game days and they argue that the American Dream project’s developers have violated an agreement of cooperation with the teams.
Christie doesn’t agree with the teams’ take and castigated them for filing a lawsuit while the state was trying to broker a resolution to the problems. Christie called the teams’ legal maneuvering “anti-New Jersey” for trying to stop a big construction project at a time when the state is in need of jobs. He also slapped the teams for fighting the state so soon after getting “one of the sweetest deals” from New Jersey to help them build their new stadium.
“So I think it’s disappointing that you would see folks who benefited so mightily from the taxpayers in this state would now take this kind of very aggressive action before we could come to a conclusion on appropriate negotiations to reach a compromise, so that thousands of people can get to work finishing that property and thousands of others could go to work there once the property is completed,” Christie said, via John Brennan of the Bergen Record. “As I’ve said before, I’m disappointed in the Mara family, I’m disappointed in the Tisch family, and I’m disappointed in Woody Johnson for the approach they took — and that, I’m sure, comes as no great shock to them.”
As a lifelong resident of New York City who has made many trips to the Meadowlands, I can say that the prospect of traffic on game days with a fully operational American Dream is nightmarish in the extreme. There are public transportation options to get to the Meadowlands, but they are not nearly convenient enough to think that they will take a bite out of the concerns raised by the teams.
Whether those concerns should be reason enough to spike a $3.7 billion project that could have a big economic impact on North Jersey is a question that looks like it will be settled in courtrooms or government offices.