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news release

Contact: Jim Berzok
RELEASE: June 18, 1999

State Puts Best Foot Forward
for Women's World Cup Games

When 70,000 plus soccer fans arrive tomorrow at Giants Stadium for opening ceremonies at the FIFA Women’s World Cup games they should notice that the venue has never looked better, thanks in large part to the New Jersey Transportation and Corrections departments.

Since the beginning of the month, the two state agencies, in conjunction with the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission and the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, have been collaborating to remove litter and debris, cut grass and do spot landscaping at the stadium and along state roads leading to it.

Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein said that NJDOT maintenance crews have conducted general debris pickups, street sweeping and litter patrol around the stadium since last month, but formed the partnership to expand and enhance efforts.

"Between the beginning of the month and the start of the games, we expect to have collected about 34 tons of debris and trash," Weinstein said. "New Jersey has one of the premier sports venues in the country and we have the honor of hosting one of the premier soccer tournaments in the world. I believe the stadium’s appearance will reflect the pride that we all feel for New Jersey."

"It is gratifying to know that visitors to the Garden State, indeed to the United States, will have a favorable impression as a result of the collaborative effort between the New Jersey Department of Corrections and Department of Transportation," said Corrections Commissioner Jack Terhune. "The NJDOC is always seeking opportunities for its inmates to provide meaningful work and I commend the staff of both departments for helping this project come to fruition."

The work was overseen by Dave Lortz, supervisor at the NJDOT’s Secaucus maintenance yard. The Corrections Department furnished inmate crews through its "Pay Back the Communities Program," which worked on litter pickup and grass cutting. The Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, through the assistance of Rich Fritzky and Jim Kinkos (who also owns Demetrios Catering), provided box lunches for the crews. The Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission, through Executive Director Allan Steinberg, assisted in debris and waste disposal.

"I want to thank each and every individual who helped us put our best foot forward out to the rest of the world. And the relationships that we have established between the groups will continue not only throughout the duration of the soccer tournament, but long after so that we can keep the Meadowland sports complex a showcase for all major events," Weinstein added.

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