Newark Arena On Thin Ice

Newark Mayor-elect Cory Booker hasn’t been the biggest advocate of a new 18,000-seat hockey arena for the New Jersey Devils that’s under construction in the city.

In a mayoral debate in May, he called the $310 million building a “betrayal of the public trust” and “a bad political deal.”

Booker, who will be sworn in on July 1st, said he is reconsidering the deal and is conducting a cost-benefit analysis because he is concerned Newark will spend more than $210 million it has already committed.

“If the project will hemorrhage money for decades, we’re going to stop it,” he said.

Booker said he questions whether spending millions for an arena is the best use of money in the city, which also faces problems of crime, gang violence and poverty.

Newark and the Devils broke ground in October on the arena. The team is paying $100 million.

Getting out of the deal could largely depend on whether Booker’s slate gains a majority on the Municipal Council, which will be determined in an election in June.