Big day for angry mayors on PHT. From Glendale we move to Newark, where Mayor Cory Booker has slammed Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek in the wake of an arbitration ruling related to the team’s lease at the Prudential Center – a ruling that called for the city to pay the club $2.7 million a year in parking revenue, and one the mayor said Vanderbeek achieved with “legal jiujitsu.”
“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.”
In an uncharacteristic display of anger, Booker castigated Vanderbeek for what the mayor described as not following through on promises to fund job training programs, donate office space to nonprofits and build a community recreation center in the city.
Vanderbeek didn’t respond to the AP’s request for comment, but Devils Arena Entertainment did release the following statement: “We recognize it is hard for the mayor to accept a legal loss and understand what must be his frustration with his housing authority’s dubious decision to initiate this arbitration.”
And then the mayor’s head exploded.