The New Meadowlands Stadium is the glitzy yet functional home of the New York Jets and New York
Giants, but unlike its predecessor, Giants Stadium, this venue operates as a 50/50 partnership
between the two teams. It is also one of the only one of the new NFL venues constructed in recent
years that does not sports any sort of rood or overhang, essentially mimicking the look and feel of its
predecessor. The stadium opened its doors in April of 2010, and hosted its first NFL game the
following August. At a cost of $1.6-billion, this currently holds the record as the most expensive
stadium ever built.


Getting to the venue

A well laid out and elaborate road system which also serviced the previous venue gets fans in and out
of the Meadowlands Sports Complex with relative ease. US 3 and I-95 are the principal expressways
getting you here from points north and south and into Manhattan . A new rail link was constructed to
service the stadium. The Meadowlands Rail Line runs game day service to Secaucus Junction, and
from there passengers can catch connections to Penn Station in Newark , Penn Station in Manhattan
and other points along the New Jersey Rail Line.


Outside the venue

The stadium’s perimeter is ringed with massive parking lots, which lends to a pretty healthy and
elaborate tailgate scene. On the south side of the stadium is a well laid out fan zone offering things to
do, vendors, pregame live entertainment and food selections. East of the stadium is the Izod Center,
still open but no longer the home to New Jersey’s NHL and NBA teams or Seton Hall basketball. Next
to the Izod Center the massive mixed use Xanadu project sits half completed and barren, with only its
surface lots and parking ramps open for business on game day. There are literally no shops,
restaurants, or private businesses available in walking proximity to the stadium. It is a self contained
sea of asphalt ringed by expressways and highways.


Architecture and seating bowl

Here is the  most unique and intriguing feature of New Meadowlands Stadium… patterned after
Munich’s Allianz Arena, which houses two soccer teams, this venue can actually change architectural
elements, both the bold and subtle ones, to accurately set the mood and scene for each of its two
major tenants. The outer skin of the building is composed of aluminum louvers, with ambient lighting
behind the panels that switches colors depending on which team is playing. Field wall signage,
interpretive elements, concourse signage, the field end zone turf, even the lighting in the team
merchandise store, can all be transformed in less than a day to convert the building from Jets to
Giants and back to Jets.


The three decked seating bowl contains ample club sections in each of the lower and middle deck
sidelines, dugout suites, and four massive HD video boards, one in each corner of the stadium tucked
just beneath the uppermost deck. With a capacity of over 82,000 seats for football, this one of the larger
stadiums in the NFL.


Concourses

The 100 level and 300 level concourses here offer quite a contrast – downstairs one enters the venue
primarily through the West Hall Gate or East Hall Gate and can enoy the massive public spaces, which
allow for ample walking room, even seating/table areas for people watching and spacious concession
areas. Ride the escalator or take the ramps to the top and it is an entirely different story. Narrow and
congested hallways which are choked with humanity and difficult to navigate.

Again there are two interesting elements which are very subtle but play a great part in the switchover of
this building from a Jets to a Giants venue. The backlit and beveled concourse number signage is
gently lit in either green or blue. And murals of great players above each section entrance are actually
pull down shades format, allowing to switch over that Gastineau print to one of Lawrence Taylor, for
example.


Concessions

The food offering here is outstanding and well thought out, also providing local fare items which are
somewhat expensive, but big portions. Themed stands include places such as “Brooklyn Burger”,
“New York Delicatessen” and “Boardwalk Fryer”. Need a specialty dog? One can find Nathan’s
Famous and Hebrew Nationals without searching too far. The best specialty items on the menu here
include a pepper and egg sandwich, an Italian roast pork sandwich, their “Killer Chili” and a hero
sandwich called “Nonna Fusco’s Meatballs”.


Banners/retired numbers

The New York Jets have two retired numbers - #12 Joe Namath and #13 Don Maynard. Those two
names along with that of legendary coach Weeb Ewbank are displayed on the ground level wall, one of
yet another of the elements that undergoes the makeover when a Giants game is staged here.


Premium seating

The elaborate club seating configuration here includes a “Touchdown Club” and a “Lexus Gridiron
Club” straddling the 200 level sidelines, and a separate “Commissioners Club” to accommodate
premium seating customers down on the sidelines of the west side of the stadium at the 100 level.
This club area gives access to a patio viewing area just a few feet behind the players’ bench, and
access to the postgame coach’s press conference. With PSL fees commanding prices of $12,500, in
addition to some tickets costs per game approaching $500 and even more, some of these tickets are
on the unsold list, replicating the embarrassment of those pricey Yankees tickets closest to the field,
and an egregious misjudgment on the part of both the teams who play here in terms of what the
market is willing to pay.


Summary

In many ways, this stadium looks and feels a lot like its predecessor next door, which has since been
demolished to make way for parking. The gray motif is somewhat dreary and depressing, but the
superb electronics and four video boards, as well as the LED accent boards both inside the seating
bowl and outside the stadium, give the place a contemporary and modern feel. Tailgaiting here is
pretty good, and the club sections aren’t too overstated, so the commoner can still enter this stadium
and ascend way way up to the nosebleeds for a trifle over three figures. If you can stomach the rude
and jostling New York fans, it is still an old time, somewhat pure game day experience. While a venue
like Cowboys Stadium was built for the flash and pizazz of a showplace, New Meadowlands Stadium
was built to be simply a football stadium. And that was a real plus.


Touchdowns, extra points, fumbles…

Touchdown… For the unique and well thought out way that elements of the venue are changed over to
accommodate the two football teams. From LED signage, to marquee and canopy changes, to the turf,
to subtle color changes for signage (blue to green and back to blue), it is all done here with a subtle
flair, providing the game day patron two distinct game day experiences depending on the team which
is playing here.

Touchdown… With 10 seconds to go, no less, to give the New York Jets an improbable come from
behind 30-27 win over the Houston Texans.

Fumble…About 2/3 of the crowd had bailed for the exits and missed their home team’s stirring
comeback. Oops.

Extra Point… “Fireman Ed” is still the end zone cheerleader, the HD video board fixated upon him and
him leading the signature “J. E. T. S.” chant after every score.

Touchdown - to our road trip pals extraordinaire Gary Herman and Mike Casiano for hooking us up with
a pair of tickets for the game. Always a great time with these two amazing sports fans.



To read the venue profile on Giants Stadium, the former home of the New York Jets and the New York
Giants, please click
HERE.

SCORING:
Architecture: 8
Food and team store: 8
Scoreboard and electronics: 10
Ushers : 7.5
Fan support: 8
Location and neighborhood: 6.5
Banners and history: 5
In game entertainment: 5
Concourses/fan comfort: 8
Bonus: Tailgate scene 2.5, Fireman Ed 1, 4 video boards 1
Total: 70.5
Met Life Stadium
New Meadowlands
Stadium



November 21,
2010



Houston
Texans
at
New York Jets