We may have found a feud rivaling the hatred and intensity of Flyers-Penguins.
What’s more, this one is being played out off the ice.
According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Newark Mayor Cory Booker — who, earlier this week, accused New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek of exploiting the city — said his request for seats to next month’s sold-out Bruce Springsteen concert at the Prudential Center had been denied.
More, from the Star-Ledger:
After a reporter asked whether any elected officials had sought Springsteen tickets for the May 2 concert, arena officials immediately offered a copy of a March 22 private e-mail request from the mayor’s campaign staff for tickets — a communication that ordinarily would have likely been kept confidential. Its release gave voice to the team owner’s obvious displeasure over the mayor’s name-calling.
In the e-mail, a staffer for the mayor’s “Booker Team” wrote that Booker “would like to attend the Bruce Springsteen concert with a group of his family. I completely understand this is on high demand and probably sold out. Do you know if there is at least 4 tickets? Originally he asked for 10, if they are available which I doubt it, please let me know if you can get us those tickets for him. I will get his credit card as soon as you let me know how many are available.”
Though Booker agreed to pay for the tickets, the concert is sold out and fans can no longer get seats unless they go to a scalper.
Booker said today the Devils’ release of the e-mail was “petty,” considering he played a crucial role in getting The Boss to Newark in the first place.
“They called me and asked me to lobby to get Bruce Springsteen to come to the arena,” Booker said referring to conversations with the Devils. “I went through a lot of hoops to try to get him to come here.”
Booker also noted that even though Newark put up a large chunk of money to build the Prudential center, the city has no seats for big events.
“Usually when the government bodies put in a large amount of money, the officials have some tickets for community use,” Booker said, adding that the tickets were not for his family. “This is something that Jeff never allowed for.”
The relationship between Booker and Vanderbeek has been tenuous for a while, stemming from disputes over back rent and unpaid parking revenues. Things boiled over on Wednesday when, after an arbitration ruling said the city had to pay the Devils $2.7 million a year in parking, Booker went on the offensive.
“What Jeff Vanderbeek has proven after five years of trying of trying to work with him [is] that he is a highfalutin, high-class huckster and hustler,” Booker said in a news conference. “He came into the city with a mouthful of promises, but a pocket full of lies.”
(Image courtesy the Star-Ledger)