The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) was created in 1971 and holds the land lease for and provides for the ongoing operation of the MetLife Sports Complex, which has entertained hundreds of millions of people from all over the world for the past 40 years.
The internationally renowned sports and entertainment hub has hosted world-class events at MetLife Stadium, including Super Bowl XLVIII, WrestleMania 29, World Cup Soccer, a Papal mass, and concerts by the biggest names in the entertainment industry such as Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and U2. The stadium is home to pro football’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
The Complex also includes the Meadowlands Racetrack, the site of the prestigious Hambletonian Stakes, which takes place on the first Saturday of every August, and the Meadowlands Arena. It is the future home of the American Dream Meadowlands entertainment and shopping destination, which is under construction and scheduled to open in March 2019.
In addition, the Authority owns the Wildwood Convention Center and holds the land lease for the Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport; Favorites, an off-track wagering facility in Woodbridge; and the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park.
The NJSEA is also the regional planning and zoning agency for the 30.4-square-mile Hackensack Meadowlands District through its absorption of the former New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) in 2015.
The District includes parts of 14 towns in Bergen and Hudson counties. The Authority upholds the former NJMC’s three-fold mandate to provide for orderly development of the region, to provide facilities for the sanitary disposal of solid waste, and to protect the delicate balance of nature.
When the former NJMC was created in 1969, dozens of orphaned landfills tarnished the District, polluting air, soil and water, mainly the Hackensack River. By closing the landfills and planning for appropriate growth, the agency has attracted billions of dollars in economic development to the Meadowlands District while acquiring and preserving 2,500 acres of environmentally sensitive wetlands.
The District is now a booming industrial and commercial business center and home to a thriving, unique urban eco-system, showing that economic growth and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand.
The Authority operates under the Department of State and receives an appropriation from the State Budget. The agency also produces revenue from sources including lease payments, solid waste operations, fees and property transactions.
The NJSEA’s Administrative Offices are located at:
Richard W. DeKorte Park
One DeKorte Park Plaza
P.O. Box 640
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
THE MEADOWLAND DISTRICT’S 14 MUNICIPALITIES:
- East Rutherford
- Little Ferry
- North Arlington
- South Hackensack
Closing the landfills and planning for appropriate development has attracted billions of dollars in economic growth while being sensitive to environmentally important wetlands. The NJSEA continues to promote economic growth, development and investment in the region through its redevelopment plans that turn underutilized and abandoned properties into thriving homes for industry.
Simultaneously, the agency over the past four decades has preserved more than 3,400 acres of wetlands and conducted scientific research that has helped greatly improve air, soil and water quality in the region. These efforts have resulted in a significantly cleaner Hackensack River estuary, which has fostered an environmental renaissance. More than 285 bird species, including 34 on New Jersey’s threatened, endangered, and species of special concern lists, have been spotted in the Meadowlands.
The NJSEA has also become a leader in the promotion of renewable energy. The agency constructed the first solar farm on a State-owned landfill, an innovative approach to finding a productive use for a landfill that had been closed for 30 years. The 3-megawatt installation at the NJSEA 1A Landfill in Kearny includes 12,506 photovoltaic panels mounted on 13 acres atop the 35-acre landfill. The solar farm is managed and maintained by PSE&G through a lease agreement with the Authority.
In addition, the Authority built a 120-kilowatt solar carport canopy over its administration building parking lot. The 504 solar panels provide approximately 20 percent of the electricity needs of the Authority’s administration building. The agency’s Science Center includes 165 rooftop solar panels. The solar components contributed to the Science Center becoming the first public building in New Jersey to be certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum, the highest designation, from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The organization’s environmental revitalization efforts have transformed the Meadowlands District into a premier ecotourism destination. The District features 21 parks with eight miles of walking trails, seasonal pontoon boat cruises and canoe tours, and the state-of-the-art William D. McDowell Observatory in DeKorte Park, which is open to the public Wednesday evenings year-round.
The NJSEA works with the Bergen County Audubon Society, which leads twice-monthly guided nature walks throughout the District. The Authority maintains the Meadowlands Nature Blog which includes great wildlife and landscape photos from area photographers, news about upcoming NJSEA events, and other Meadowlands-related nature and environment news.
Through its Meadowlands Environment Center, the NJSEA provides environmental science programs to schoolchildren through a contract with Ramapo College. Approximately 15,000 students participate in field trips to DeKorte Park throughout the school year.
Thanks to its hard work, this agency has proven that economic growth and environmental preservation go hand-in-hand. Moving forward, the NJSEA stands committed to building upon its solid foundation of success to ensure a prosperous economic and environmental future for the Meadowlands District.