With Super Bowl XLVIII done and over with in New Jersey, East Rutherford Mayor Jim Cassella told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that he is not sure how much was generated from the big game for East Rutherford, but the municipality did have a successful pre-game event.
“I can tell you that the event that we had in East Rutherford, nothing to do with the NFL, there were a lot of starving NFL fans that wanted to be a part of it,” said Cassella.
East Rutherford held a pre-game tailgate party for the Super Bowl with performances, games and food. Cassella says that the turnout exceeded expectations. Officials expected 1,000 to 2,000 attendees, but the town saw a turnout of about 6,000 to 7,000 people, according to Cassella.
The restrictions on open containers of alcohol on the street were lifted for the event on Super Bowl Sunday. According to Cassella, the event went well and there were only two minor incidents.
Following the conclusion of the game at MetLife Stadium, fans who attended experienced delays when trying to board the trains to Secaucus. Cassella said that he is not sure who is at fault — whether it was NJ Transit or the NFL — but neither was prepared to accommodate fans leaving the stadium. Cassella also said that he had mentioned prior to the game that plans for mass transit were not enough to accommodate everyone.
“It didn’t make any sense what they were doing and to make it a mass transit Super Bowl is fine, except you really need a plan and this plan was, well, we’ll just have a few people on the train but they didn’t have enough,” Cassella said.
Prior to the Super Bowl, Cassella said he was displeased with the NFL and how the organization was treating New Jersey as a host state. His opinion hasn’t changed since the game was played.
Even though the Super Bowl was hosted by both New Jersey and New York, Cassella said that all of the promotion for the game went to New York. Instead of promoting New York, Cassella said that New Jersey could have benefited more from promotion and that it could have also made it easier for people who came to the Garden State for the game.