Cowboys Superfan Chris Christie Spent More Than $80,000 at NFL Games

That’s over the course of the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talk prior to the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
May 11, 2015, 7:42 a.m.

Chris Christie isn’t just a (semisuc­cess­ful) lucky charm for the Dal­las Cow­boys. He’s also pretty ex­cel­lent luck for whatever foot­ball sta­di­um gets to be graced with his wal­let.

Ac­cord­ing to a new re­port by New Jer­sey Watch­dog, the gov­ernor spent $82,594 dur­ing the 2010 and 2011 NFL sea­sons at Met­Life Sta­di­um, home of the New York Jets and Gi­ants. That money, which ori­gin­ally came from the gov­ernor’s $95,000-a-year state al­low­ance, ap­pears on Christie’s of­fi­cial ex­pense ledger as pay­ments to Delaware North Com­pan­ies Sportser­vice, which runs the con­ces­sions at the sta­di­um. We as­sume that $82,594 amounts to roughly sev­en beers and one soda in NFL sta­di­um prices.

But the state didn’t stay on the hook for foot­ball drinks and snacks for long: The New Jer­sey Re­pub­lic­an State Com­mit­tee paid the sum back to the state treas­urer in 2012.

That sum is just a por­tion of the $300,000 from his state al­low­ance New Jer­sey Watch­dog found that the gov­ernor spent on food and al­co­hol through his first five years in of­fice.

In a state­ment to New Jer­sey Watch­dog, Christie’s of­fice de­fen­ded the ex­penses, say­ing that “the of­fi­cial nature and busi­ness pur­pose of the event re­mains the case re­gard­less of wheth­er the event is at the State House, Drumth­wack­et, or a sport­ing ven­ue.”

While there’s noth­ing to sug­gest that the con­ces­sions spend­ing was im­prop­er, es­pe­cially since it was paid back to the state, it shows just how much Christie is will­ing to spend on foot­ball, or have spent on his be­half. Christie, who is ac­cused of hav­ing a his­tory of en­joy­ing the perks of his of­fice, ac­cep­ted from team own­er Jerry Jones a plane ride to Dal­las and a lux­ury suite seat at the Cow­boys’ Janu­ary 4 home play­off game this year. CBS es­tim­ated that the full play­off ex­per­i­ence could have been worth more than $100,000. Christie’s of­fice at the time main­tained that this was all above-board un­der New Jer­sey state law. Jones, for his part, said he wanted Christie there be­cause he was part of the team’s “mojo” after be­ing present for five Cow­boys’ vic­tor­ies.

That mojo, though, ran out for the Cow­boys, who even­tu­ally lost with Christie in at­tend­ance. But even without su­per­nat­ur­al good luck, NFL sta­di­ums would likely be served well by a po­ten­tial Christie pres­id­en­tial can­did­acy last­ing at least through the start of next sea­son.

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