Public space and politics
Devil May Care
In 2007, NJ Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek pretended to care about Newark and snookered the city into spending a quarter billion dollars on an arena. Newark pretended it was an investment in the city’s economy. Smarter folks knew the hockey team was merely fobbing off unaffordable capital costs onto a poorly-managed municipality. Because the team is worse than broke:
Even if managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek cannot come up with the cash by that time it is unlikely that creditors will lock the doors to the Prudential Center because the hockey team and its arena management company likely owe significantly more money than they could be sold for. Last December show we valued the Devils (plus the revenue the team gets from non-NHL events at the arena) at $218 million with debt of $250 million for a negative book value of $32 million.
In 2008, the team promptly screwed the city and skipped its rent payments. Business development around the Prudential Center—excepting parking lots—has been minimal. Subsidizing professional sports facilities is always a mistake.