BURZICHELLI: NJSIAA TICKET HIKE REQUEST JUST ANOTHER PLOY TO MAINTAIN ITS LAVISH SPENDING

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) released the following statement Wednesday after a Gannett report detailed how the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association is seeking state permission to increase ticket prices by moving high school sports finals to pro and college sports venues.

Burzichelli sponsored a 2007 law that restricted the NJSIAA’s ability to raise tickets prices on New Jersey families and high school sports fans, though the NJSIAA has continuously sought to circumvent the statute:

“I’m once again very disappointed to see the NJSIAA continuing to endlessly look for ways to hike ticket prices on New Jersey families so it can continue with its high salaries, bloated administration and personal cars.

“My statute indeed allows the NJSIAA to seek permission to increase prices for events held in non-campus facilities, but this request violates the spirit of that law and calls into question this group’s business acumen.

“Quite simply, this request is yet another ploy by NJSIAA officials to continue making money to fund their lavish lifestyles.

“A smart business group would have asked the Giants and Jets to donate use of the new Meadowlands stadium. The Giants and Jets have always been stellar corporate neighbors with significant community involvement, and there’s no reason they wouldn’t continue to be helpful.

“On the other hand, while I understand the excitement of playing in a professional stadium, I question whether playing high school games in an 82,500-seat facility is smart. Playing in such a huge facility can take away from the great atmosphere surrounding New Jersey high school football, most notably the great tradition of being in an intimate setting close to players and the bands.

“I urge Commissioner Schundler to reject this request until the NJSIAA shows enough business smarts to take real steps to cut their exorbitant spending on salaries and perks and do more than simply ask repeatedly to hike ticket prices on New Jerseyans.

“I also continue to look forward to the State Commission of Investigation inquiry into the NJSIAA and hope its recommendations finally lead to real reform at this agency.”