New Jersey Governor Spent Thousands in Taxpayer Funds on Stadium Concessions: Report

Phil Murphy (Getty Images)
October 31, 2023

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy (D.) reportedly spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on stadium concessions at MetLife Stadium in 2018 and 2019.

Murphy spent $11,847 from his taxpayer-funded expense account at several concerts and events over the course of those two years, Politico reported based on public records. That account allows the governor to spend up to $95,000 a year on "Official Receptions, Official Residence, and Other Official Expenses" and can not be used for "personal purposes," language in the state's budget reads.

Six events account for the governor's spending on stadium concessions. Events included a 2018 Taylor Swift Concert, where Murphy spent $936, and a 2019 NFL game between the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys where he spent $2,479. Charges from the latter event included $90 for Aquafina and $45 for extra guacamole.

The governor's office "had every expectation" at the time that the state's Democratic Party would pay for those expenses because it "traditionally covers these costs," a spokeswoman for the governor told Politico.

"Once it was clear that there were outstanding bills that had not been paid, the state stepped up to meet this responsibility," the spokeswoman added. She said the governor was "pursuing reimbursement from the state party for costs incurred at MetLife Stadium."

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee "had no knowledge" of the invoices because they came from before the party's current leadership took power, a spokesman for the organization told Politico.

There is no state record of Murphy using taxpayer funds for expenses at the stadium after 2019.

When former governor Chris Christie (R.) spent over $82,000 at the stadium from his expense account in 2010 and 2011, New Jersey's Republican Party later reimbursed it.