New York's Super Bowl Is New Jersey's Triumph

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James Cassella, the mayor of East Rutherford, N.J., talks to Melissa Block about the Super Bowl coming to Meadowlands stadium in 2014. The stadium's actually in Cassella's city, but as usual, New York will probably get all the glory.


There is some cross-border trash talking going on in the arena of football. Here's the headline from today's New York Post: Touchdown, New York Clenches 2014's Super Bowl Bid. But the Newark Star Ledger goes with this: Jersey's Big Score, Super Bowl Glory.

Yesterday the NFL awarded the 2014 championship game to, well, let's listen to how the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell phrased it when he made the announcement.

Mr. ROGER GOODELL (NFL Commissioner): Super Bowl XLVIII in February of 2014 will be played in New York/New Jersey.

(Soundbite of applause)

BLOCK: New York slash New Jersey doesn't look so great on a T-shirt or a tabloid. James Cassella, I'm thinking you would take issue with that, right?

Mayor JAMES CASSELLA (East Rutherford, New Jersey): It's in New Jersey. There is no question that is where it's going to be held. And when they count the receipts from the sales tax, it's going to be New Jersey that receives the most money. So I think New York should be a little envious of us over here.

BLOCK: Okay, now, we should explain. You are the mayor of East Rutherford, New Jersey. That's where the Meadowlands stadium is. That's where the Super Bowl game will be played in 2014.

Mayor CASSELLA: Correct.

BLOCK: And you can see that from your office right now?

Mayor CASSELLA: Yes, I could look out over the Meadowlands. You can see it perfectly in the winter, but obviously with the trees it makes it a little more difficult.

BLOCK: Okay, now the problem here, though, Mayor Cassella, is the teams that play there are the...

Mayor CASSELLA: New York Giants.


Mayor CASSELLA: And the New York Jets.

BLOCK: Yes. Well, there's the rub, right?

Mayor CASSELLA: That part of it never really bothered me. I've been a season ticketholder for both teams. Those are the teams. And we have the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in East Rutherford, so it's not the Federal Reserve Bank of East Rutherford, it's the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

BLOCK: From your perspective in East Rutherford, the Super Bowl is, it's a New Jersey Super Bowl coming up.

Mayor CASSELLA: But and when it comes down to where the game is being played, it absolutely is being played in New Jersey. There is no other venue. It's not being, you know, one half of the game isn't being played in New York City and one half isn't being played in East Rutherford, it's all being played in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

BLOCK: The 50 yard line is not somewhere in the middle of the Hudson River.

Mayor CASSELLA: You got that right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: Okay. Glad we established that. Do you think your city is having sort of a we-don't-get-no-respect moment here?

Mayor CASSELLA: I have been dealing with this for so many years, I've become immune to it. Does it get respect? Absolutely not. You know, to quote I just received a text from my nephew, and to quote on the Post website, one of the postings was my dog is more important the mayor of East Rutherford.

BLOCK: Whoa.

Mayor CASSELLA: That probably sums it up in the realm of things.

BLOCK: And your nephew wanted you to know that.

Mayor CASSELLA: He wanted me to know that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: Nice guy.

Mayor CASSELLA: Yes. Real nice guy. He's also my godson, too. So that'll tell you something there and a big Giants fan.

BLOCK: I think he just lost a Super Bowl ticket.

Mayor CASSELLA: I guess when it comes to tickets, guess who he's going to call?

BLOCK: Well, the good news is the Super Bowl is coming to your city.

Mayor CASSELLA: The Super Bowl is in East Rutherford and no one can change that. It is in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and whether the NFL likes it, whether the people in New Jersey like it or not, it's coming and I look forward to hopefully a game between the New York Jets and the New York Giants.

BLOCK: Well, Mayor Cassella, thanks for talking to us.

Mayor CASSELLA: Thank you very much and you have a great afternoon.

BLOCK: James Cassella is the mayor of East Rutherford, New Jersey, which will be hosting Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

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