After holding a public hearing, New Jersey Sen. Barbara Buono last week asked the state auditor to examine operations of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Buono, D-Middlesex, chairs the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee, which held the hearing.
The NJSEA has a fiscal 2010 deficit of $38 million and is seeking $30 million of state aid to help balance the budget. The state already pays debt-service costs on much of the authority’s $691 million of outstanding bonds, as most of that debt is state-contract bonds.
“We had the chance to hear from a number of stakeholders, both within the Sports Authority and outside,” Buono said in a prepared statement. “Several things became abundantly clear. The state has been shouldering the authority’s debt at an increasing rate since 1992.”
Gov. Chris Christie in February announced a seven-member advisory commission to examine the NJSEA. Its report is due by June 30. The panel will also recommend ways to strengthen the state’s gaming and entertainment industries.
The NJSEA oversees Giants Stadium — home of the New York Giants and Jets — the Izod Center, where the New Jersey Nets currently play, two racetracks, and the Atlantic City Convention Center. It also is overseeing the construction of Meadowlands Xanadu, a major retail, dining, and entertainment facility that has faced delays.