With just more than a week until Super Bowl XLVIII in the Meadowlands, East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he was not surprised with the way events were laid out leading up to the game.
“I am disappointed because I was hoping I was wrong,” said Cassella. “From day one I always said this was going to be a New York event and I understood that. What I didn’t think is that New Jersey would totally be left out of the mix.”
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford is the home stadium for the New York Jets and New York Giants. Cassella said that he has no relationship with the National Football League. He also said that he has not received a call from the NFL regarding the Super Bowl.
Cassella said that he had spoken to the Super Bowl Host Committee early in the planning process for the game. He had spoken to a representative and gave some suggestions, which Cassella says were ignored.
“I had a sign put up by the train station just to let people know that they are in East Rutherford in Bergen County and this is the home of the Super Bowl,” said Cassella.
Since the banner at the train station mentioned the Super Bowl, Cassella said that he expected to get a call from the NFL because the organization is protective of its rights and usage of logos and signage.
With little time remaining until the big game, hotels in East Rutherford have not been fully booked. Cassella says he expected they would have no rooms available by now.
Whether hotel rooms were overpriced or the publicity of the high prices were part of the reason hotel rooms haven’t sold out, Cassella said, “I don’t know if that’s the case or I don’t know if it’s the fact that New Jersey is never being mentioned by anybody associated with the NFL. That people would have just figured everything is in New York so why don’t we just stay in New York and go to the game.”
East Rutherford is lifting some of its ban on drinking in public for the Super Bowl, but only to an extent according to Cassella. The ban has been partially lifted within the vicinity of restaurants. There will also be heated tents so people can go out into the street with their drinks, but Cassella said people won’t be allowed to roam throughout the town with alcohol.
As for a message to the NFL, Cassella says he would have liked New Jersey to get a little more out of hosting the Super Bowl.
“I would just say that from the NFL prospective, I wish they would play up New Jersey a little bit more so we may reap some of the economic benefits, that a lot of it is going to New York as we well know but can we just get a little bit of it over here in New Jersey,” Cassella said.