[ESPN hockey analyst Barry] Melrose, who angered the Devils, their fans and Newark officials five weeks ago with his negative comments about the neighborhood surrounding the new $380 million arena, will … meet with city officials for a tour of downtown Newark.
“I want to see Newark for myself,” Melrose told The Star-Ledger today. “I want to see if my remarks were unjustified, somewhat unjustified or totally unjustified. I want my remarks to be totally unjustified. What I hope to see is a city turning itself around, a city that has a great plan and has started to rebound.”
Booker, who was notably irritated in WBGO’s Newark Today the week of the off-color remarks, has issued a statement through city hall about the visit:
The City of Newark is proud to welcome ESPN host Barry Melrose and offer him both the warmth of our hospitality and insight into the truth and reality of Newark’s dynamic revitalization. This is a great opportunity for Mr. Melrose to witness for himself our city’s many attractions, diverse neighborhoods, and the magnificent Prudential Center. Most of all, he will discover the great strength and incredible spirit of our residents who are working tirelessly to transform Newark into America’s leading example of urban safety and prosperity.
So, welcome Mr. Melrose. Enjoy a beer and a hotdog the Arena, then come to Maize or 27 Mix or Mompou or Hell’s Kitchen or any number of our great restaurants and bars for a nightcap.