Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Red Bull Arena Has Turned Harrison, New Jersey, Into One Of The Poorest, Most Lawless Places In America

Harrison, New Jersey, used to be a nice town. There was a time when people here didn't lock their doors, and the apothecary made tinctures from local berries. Then the Red Bulls showed up with their Austrian owner and built their stinking $200 million arena. The town took on $39 million in debt to clean out muck or something under the stadium. The town thought it would get the money back. Nein! Nein! Nein! Harrison is now the fourth-most-likely city in the United States to go broke, according to 24/7 Wall St:

4. Harrison, NJ
> Credit rating: Ba3
> 2009 revenues: $32,763,000
> 2009 debt: $92,613,000
> Median household income: $49,596

Harrison "issued a significant amount of debt to foster redevelopment, and continues to collect substantially less revenue from those developments than projected," Moody's explains. One of the largest projects is the $200 million Red Bull Arena, which was opened in March 2010 and cost the city $39 million in debt but has yet failed to have the expected returns. To help solve its debt problem, the city, which has a population of 13,620, plans to fire some police officers and firefighters.

Advertisement

A few months ago, Bloomberg ran a story on the impact of the arena on Harrison. It's not pretty. Least attractive is that the Red Bulls are trying to weasel out of a $1.4 million property tax, arguing that it doesn't own the land. I've been to Red Bull Arena. It's actually a nice little venue. It only took me two hours to get out of the parking lot.

Nine American Cities Going Broke [24/7 Wall St.]
Red Bulls' Stadium Bonds Sap New Jersey Town as Condominium Visions Vanish [Bloomberg]

H/T Ren R.

Share This Story