It has come to our attention that many members of the WWE universe were stranded in the rain waiting to get out of the MetLife Stadium after WrestleMania. New Jersey state officials claim that WrestleMania ran over by two hours than what they expected, therefore there were not enough trains or engineers to get people out of there in a timely manner. Spokesman Jim Smith stated, “The primary factor contributing to the post-event delays was the WWE’s decision to extend the event to 12:30 a.m., which had significant operational impacts on the evening. NJ Transit was not informed of this decision until late last night.” Basically New Jersey is blaming the WWE for all the problems, but in reality, this is much bigger than the WWE and WrestleMania. Governor Phil Murphy claimed the event ended much later than expected and three of the train crews had timed out. They would not pay overtime to keep the trains running to accommodate the event. He further claims to be fixing the problem and learning from the debacle, but that doesn’t appear to be quite true.
WWE has scheduled the show to run until 12:30 am and apologized for the inconveniences the fans might have experienced. There is a question as to whether the WWE told officials that the show would be running that late, but anyone who knows anything about pro wrestling knows that WrestleMania runs quite late and almost always runs over. Including the Kick Off show, WrestleMania 35 ran for 450 minutes!
On top of the public transit is a serious mess, a lot of fans who used Uber to get to and from the event felt they were left in a lurch as well. Turns out that all cars that paid for parking were allowed to leave before the Uber drivers. This is common practice for big events like this but layered on top of the public transit issues it was just one more than that upset the fans in a huge way.
Anyone who lives in the area knows that there are serious public transit issues and that Governor Murphy was not telling the whole truth, not by a long shot. The transit engineers have a right to not go into work on five hours notice due to their scheduling practices. Normally that isn’t an issue, but NJ Transit is down at least fifty engineers, so there aren’t enough people to pick up the shifts that other engineers mark off. It takes twenty months to train to become an engineer and while nine are graduating this month, that is only a drib of what is needed to fix the situation. Of course Governor Murphy is blaming former Governor Christy, but that’s typical for the political game. There’s even a possibility that Governor Murphy might be recalled over this.
On top of everything else it didn’t help that it was raining.
QD – This is not what I thought I’d be reporting on the day after WrestleMania! Former WR writer Jester Jason lives in New Jersey and was at WM last night. He filled me in on what has been going on with NJ Transit in general and last night at WM specifically. Being that I live in a state that has a daily population of NY Times Square on New Year’s Eve.