Headlines from the state Senate hearing proclaimed the fact that the NJSEA has $800 million of debt. It was written about and talked about as if a charge card with an unimaginable credit line had been maxed out. The reality is quite different — as different as the mortgage on your home is from your consumer debt.
In return for 30 years of investment around the state, the taxpayers have gotten a developed Meadowlands Sports Complex and the facilities there, the Atlantic City Convention Center, the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, the Wildwood Convention Center and major athletic venues at Rutgers. These projects, besides being built and opened on-time and on-budget by the NJSEA management, not only are physical assets that offset the mortgages on them, but generate many millions of dollars a year for the state treasury.
So says Raymond H. Bateman, who, as president of the state Senate, sponsored the legislation creating the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in 1971.