NEWARK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Newark Mayor Cory Booker seems to getting out of the way of the city's deal with the New Jersey Devils for a new arena. Booker, who replaced Sharpe James as the city's mayor in July had previously been critical of the city's deal with the Devils to replace 25-year-old Continental Arena.
The Record reported that in July, Booker retained attorney Paul Fader to look into the agreement and try to find a way for the city to withdraw from the arena deal. The city is responsible for 210 million dollars of the final cost, more than 2/3rds of the estimated full cost of the facility.
Booker had been critical of the agreement, originally brokered by James, telling the Record that the deal was a "giveaway" and that he felt the city was stuck in a bad situation. Booker has recently appeared to drop his resistance to the deal. With structural steel work already underway, Booker told the Record that "The reality is that there's going to be a first-class arena built in the city of Newark, whether we like it or not. For it not to go forward now would expose us to a tremendous amount of litigation. We've almost crossed the Rubicon on this issue."
Booker has also expressed a hope that the New Jersey Nets, an NBA basketball team, will consider the new arena as a possible home, but noted that it was an unlikely outcome. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers