Call this the official countdown to an acknowledgment by Old Queens that it does not have the money to pay for the $100+ million expansion of Rutgers stadium — in a time when the state of New Jersey is rushing into a deep recession, state parks are closing, and professors are getting fired.
Today the Home News & Tribune reported on the failure by Rutgers to make progress in raising the needed money.
The Record chimes in with this headline: No cash? No prob: Rutgers stadium expansion begins
Nationally, meantime, the economic downturn is causing numerous development projects to come to a halt. The Wall Street Journal documents this abrupt u-turn in construction here. Even projects that make sense are coming up short and getting shelved. And the Rutgers stadium expansion makes no sense; it clearly is on life support with the minutes ticking down.
Yesterday, this blog reported on the latest developments in the missing $30 million, that is, the failure by Rutgers and Gov. Corzine to raise the $30 million in private donations to pay for part of the expansion plan. And there is no word at all about the status of the $70+ million in bonds needed to pay for rest of the project, probably because Wall Street would laugh at that offering at this time.
What is staggering is that anybody in the school administration believes that adding some seats to a stadium is more important than doing something — anything — to shore up Rutgers’ plummeting academic reputation. As for New Jersey, the state is a national laughingstock for its pork barrel politics, so this stadium expansion is right out of the corrupt Trenton playbook. So what if Johnny can’t read — let him watch ESPN!
Keep reading this space. The obit for this foolhardy and reckless plan already is being drafted.