No matter who pays for Chris Christie’s ticket to today’s Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers football game, the New Jersey governor will be running up the score on taxpayers.

The travel costs of state police troopers assigned to protect the governor are 18 times higher than when Christie took office, a New Jersey Watchdog investigation found.

New Jersey spent nearly $1 million on travel expenses for its state police Executive Protection Unit during Christie’s four years and nine months as governor, according to documents obtained under the Open Public Records Act. Last year, Christie traveled out-of-state on more than 100 days while visiting 36 states, Mexico and Canada, primarily on personal and political trips that were not official state business.

The current average monthly travel costs to protect Christie for a single month are 50 percent more than former Gov. Jon Corzine’s entire final year in office, according to state records. For 2009, EPU’s expenses were only $21,704 – compared to $32,933 per month for the first three quarters of 2014.

Spokesmen for Christie did not respond to New Jersey Watchdog’s requests for comment.

The governor announced Friday he will pay for his own travel and ticket to today’s game in Green Bay. Last week, Christie acknowledged Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid for him, his wife and their four children to fly to Dallas on a private charter jet plus their VIP seats at the Jan. 4 game against the Detroit Lions – an admission that stirred controversy about ethics and gifts to the governor.

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