The Jets may be 4-7, but they’ll be bringing it this Sunday. Jets fans love their team, win or lose, and will be taking to the lots at MetLife with enthusiasm and spirit for their team, tempered with cautious optimism for the upcoming play-offs and a desire to not add their own casualties to this week’s injury list. Here are a few easy rules designed to keep tailgaters safe at MetLife Stadium, without putting a damper on the party.
Patience is a virtue – Traffic jams into the parking lot are to be expected both pre- and post-game. Keep your cool behind the wheel and don’t crack open the beer until your key is out of the ignition. Pay attention to traffic and parking personnel working at the stadium as they will help get you where you want to go more quickly.
An ounce of prevention – Don’t block the drive aisles or fire lanes in case emergency vehicles need to get from one lot to another quickly.
It’s not all fun and games – MetLife frowns upon ball playing in the lots but fans love to toss footballs around anyway. If you’re planning on going long, remember you’re in a parking lot, not a stadium. Make sure to keep your eyes open for moving vehicles, especially if you’re playing with kids. And if you’re the one driving, take it slow and remember that children sometimes think with their feet instead of their heads.
Wheels are for tailgating mobiles only – Leave your skateboards, bikes, roller blades and scooters at home. These have no place in the parking lots.
Drink responsibly and play nice – There will be beer. How much you drink is up to you. But remember that sometimes less is more, particularly if you are the designated driver or if you simply wish to enjoy the game rather than slobber all over the parking lot. Drunken tailgating neighbors are no fun for others, either, so keep your limit in mind if you want to make nice with the hottie at the tailgate next door.
The sweet smell of meat – Get your carnivore on by grilling only in the space being occupied by your wheels and don’t use grills of any kind in the immediate area adjacent to buildings or structures, such as portable toilets. Don’t set up fan flags or inflatable furniture right next to a grill or cooking area and never set up grills inside tents or under your vehicle. And unless you really want to meet that cute state trooper, remember that MetLife Stadium does not allow open fires, deep fryers or oil-based cooking in the parking lots or at the curbs.
Another ounce of prevention – If you’re planning on any type of cooking, always have a fire extinguisher accessible and in clear view. If you’re a die-hard tailgater who never misses a game, keep at least one fire extinguisher in your trunk that never gets unpacked. This is an ounce of prevention you don’t want to forget.
Clean-up counts – Don’t throw away trash such as leftover food or paper goods in receptacles designated for hot charcoal disposal, as these are designed for coal and ash only. Hot coal bins at MetLife are large, red and clearly marked. They are located at the perimeters of the parking lots. Conversely, don’t dump coals or ashes in receptacles other than those expressly marked for that purpose, even if you think they are ice cold. Never place coals or ashes into plastic bags unless they have been thoroughly doused and completely saturated with water and never dump hot coals in open parking spaces that may be utilized later on by others.
Let’s leave the fireworks for the game – Fans can’t bring fireworks or firearms of any kind into the parking lots. Here’s hoping Gang Green lights MetLife Stadium up with victory fireworks of their own to give those lovely red birds a reason to fly on back to Arizona.
Let’s go Jets! And let’s keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.