Giants Stadium is no more. And after one season, fans of the New York Jets and New York Giants can say goodbye to the New Meadowlands Stadium moniker.
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., is the $1.6 billion state-of-the-art home for the Giants and Jets, as well as the site for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. The architectural masterpiece seats 82,500 and offers fans the chance to experience modern technology and amenities not seen at other NFL venues.
The Jets will kick off this year’s regular season at MetLife in an emotional way. They’ll host the Dallas Cowboys in prime time on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 — Sunday, September 11, 2011.
Here are a few ways to maximize your experience:
Tip: MetLife Stadium is one of the world’s most expensive objects.
Coming and Going
Unlike driving to most stadiums in the around the city, taking your car to MetLife Stadium is relatively easy.
The Stadium is easily accessible and bordered by major roadways including the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. There are approximately 23,800 parking spaces distributed among 14 lettered Lots at MetLife Stadium. In addition, there are 5,000 parking spaces adjacent to the East Side of the Stadium.
As you approach MetLife Stadium, there will be highway, street level and variable electronic message signs directing you to our parking lot entrances.
It is subject to change, but parking for non-football events costs $25 per car. Parking lots open five hours prior to an event.
Football fans don’t have it as easy. A parking permit is needed. Premium parking is included Personal Seat Licenses (PSL). Otherwise, it’ll cost $250 for a permit in general parking (good for 10 games).
Tip: Parkfast also has a lot near Secaucus Junction; you can take the train in from there.
Tip: The easiest way out of the stadium following the game (and the best way to avoid traffic) is to park the farthest from the actual stadium. There is a lot next to the Izod Center with a fence running alongside it that is a perfect place to tailgate and also the best place to park if you are looking for a quick and easy exit. The tailgate near the Izod Center gets pretty rowdy and crazy since it isn’t patrolled as much and because it is farther away from the stadium.
Tip: There is a garage near the Meadowlands, but it is recommended to not park in there because it is the hardest to get out of and the worst traffic following the game.
Tip: The best tailgating area is the section where the Winnebagos and RVs are parked.
Rail service to MetLife Stadium is available for all NFL games. Trains begin running 3 hours before game time and continue to run two hours after the event’s end. Purchase roundtrip tickets to the “Meadowlands Sports Complex.” You’ll need to transfer at Secaucus Junction. At Secaucus Junction, step off the train and go upstairs into the station. Then follow the signs to the rail loading area. For most Stadium events, Meadowlands trains board on Tracks G and H. Travel time between Meadowlands Station and Secaucus Junction is 10-13 minutes; the complete trip to or from Hoboken Terminal takes approximately 23 minutes.
The train lets passengers off less than 100 feet from the North Gate. Fans can then choose to enter through the North Gate or take the short walk to the Great Hall (West Gate).
Visit NJTransit.com for train and bus schedules.
Tip: A $5 surcharge applies to tickets purchased aboard the train when a TVM or ticket agent is available.
Tip: On weekends, up to two kids (11 and under) travel can travel free with a fare-paying adult.
Tip: The MTA also runs a Train to the Game service that starts in New Haven. Here’s the full schedule.
Take a Coach USA 351 Meadowlands Express Bus for an inexpensive, nonstop trip to the game. The 351 Meadowlands Express boards at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and takes you to the Meadowlands in plenty of time for you to get to your seat. After each game the bus returns to the Port Authority. The trip runs $10 roundtrip and $5 one way.
On NFL game days the bus will drop fans off on the west side of the stadium where fans can make a short walk to the Great Hall entrance.
Stashing your stuff: Bag check facility
A bag check facility is located in parking lots E and G where guests may check any items which are not permitted into the stadium for a nominal fee.
Surprise item you can’t bring in: Strollers or umbrellas
Hopefully it won’t rain during the game because umbrellas are not permitted into the Stadium. Neither are Banners and/or signs are not permitted to be carried into the stadium. Bags or purses that are 12″ x 12″ x 12″ or less in size are allowed.
Surprise item you can’t bring in: Food
Food contained in a clear plastic bag is allowed. Factory-sealed, plastic bottles of water that are 20 oz. or less in size are also permitted (caps will be removed by Safety Services staff).
Gates are inevitability corporate sponsored. There is the Pepsi Gate, the Bud Light Gate, the MetLife Gate and the Verizon Gate. We expect the shortest lines into the Stadium at the Bud Light Gate.
There are two ramps in the stadium which access all levels of the stadium. They may be found in either end-zone.
Public escalators are located at the East, West, Pepsi, Verizon and MetLife gates. There are 10 staircases in the stadium. Staircases in the corners of the building will access all levels of the stadium.
Ticket prices at MetLife Stadium run from expensive to exorbitant. Look to spend $100 minimum per ticket, regardless of the home team or opponent.
The Jets have recently reduced the cost of their Personal Seat License seats and have maintained that single-game tickets will not be directly available. This leaves us with the infamous secondary marketplace.
Giants and Jets fans can buy and sell tickets at the Ticket Exchange at NFL.com. However you can expect to pay service charges of at least $10 per ticket, but probably much more. Charges for premium seats can run as much as $268.95 per ticket. Delivery fees add another $4.95. Ticketmaster will-call is available at any open ticket window located at each entry gate. Guests may also pick up Ticketmaster will-call or purchase tickets at any Ticketmaster kiosk which are also located at every entry gate.
Our old friends Stubhub and Craigslist are two other sources of tickets. Stubhub is secure and you won’t have to haggle or deal with anyone face-to-face. All available tickets are presented in front of you and can be sorted by price or location, but you’ll be paying some pretty high service fees.
If you put in some work, you can avoid fees and usually find deals a few days before the game on Craigslist. Ignore any posts that don’t list the price of the tickets and seem suspicious.
Tip: Check out FanSnap.com and SeatGeek.com. These two aggregators search for tickets available on all major secondary markets. Both sites also use algorithms to analyze whether each ticket is a good or bad deal. SeatGeek also offers forecasts of ticket prices based on historical transactions. It sounds complicated, but they’re doing all the work. Just sign up for an alert and buy the tickets when they tell you to.
The new stadium has seating for 82,566 fans, including 10,005 club seats and approximately 220 luxury suites, making it the second largest NFL stadium in total seating behind FedEx Field.
“There isn’t a bad seat in the house” is the mantra declared by almost every fan that has gotten a sneak peak at the new Stadium. And they may be right. Despite an obstructed view seating dust up last April, the sight lines in this stadium are for the most part stunning.
Tip: During the Jets home games, section 224B will be alcohol-free.
At the Stadium
Unlike Giants Stadium in which the Jets were a junior partner, the new stadium is a 50/50 partnership between both teams. That meant that any design features had to be approved by both clubs. This created a “design by committee style” that is neither mind-blowing, nor particularly disappointing.
The seats in the upper deck are slightly closer to the field. Four giant corner video screens provide everybody a good view of replays. But there is a blandness and definite grayness to the stadium. And it appears to be covered in Venetian blinds.
Tip: They aren’t Venetian blinds. The outer skin of MetLife Stadium features aluminum louvers backed by interior lighting that will switch colors depending on which team is playing at home.
Tip: The EPA has certified MetLife Stadium as the “greenest” NFL stadium.
Tip: There are 1,350 toilets/urinals in MetLife Stadium, which is a 56% increase from the old stadium.
Tip: There are cup holders on every seat.
MetLife Stadium features four 30’ x 118’ HD video display boards in each of the stadium’s four corners. In addition, MetLife Stadium is equipped with a 48″ x 2200′ ribbon board which circles in the interior seating bowl.
Whether riding the elevator, grabbing a bite to eat, or enjoying the game from your seat, you will never miss a second of action. There are 2,018 HDTV’s in and around MetLife Stadium ranging from 20 inch screens in the elevators to the aforementioned video boards, which are equivalent to four 110 foot HDTV’s.
Fans who wish to report issues or concerns may ask for information or call for assistance in a fast, easy and convenient way can do so by texting our GuestASSIST text message service. Guests should address the text message to 78247, type the word NMS followed by a space, the issue and location. Stadium personnel will respond quickly and accordingly.
Changing stations are located in all restrooms. During Giants football games all guests, regardless of height or age, must have a ticket of their own.
The former concession provider for the Giants and Jets, ARAMARK, has been ditched. New provider Delaware North Company has partnered with the Food Network to take a page from ballparks such as Baltimore’s Camden Yards and Seattle’s Safeco Field by offering local favorites.
Signature items will include such local favorites as pepper and egg sandwiches and meatball hoagies freshly prepared from a secret family recipe by executive chef and New Jersey native Eric Borgia’s grandmother.
Nonna Fusco’s Meatballs ($9) are made from beef, veal and pork. Also added are fresh garlic, fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh breadcrumbs that are ground in-house. After they come out of oven, they’re braised for about four hours with tomato sauce.
Charles W. Granquist, culinary producer for the Food Network, said the menus at the stadium are expected to rotate every four weeks, but one staple will be hot dogs, a must for any sports arena. The list of hot-dog flavors will include short rib dogs with shredded onions and horseradish mustard, beer-cheese dogs, jerk chicken style, buffalo chicken and pretzel dogs.
Tip: Concessions will be fully Giants or Jets related, depending on which team is playing.
Tip: Beer prices run around $10. A bottle of water will cost about $4.25. Hot dogs are about $5.
Tip: Try to stack up on beers at halftime. Beer sales have ended earlier in recent years and it is harder to get them once the second half begins.
Lobel’s, the Madison Avenue meat purveyor, and Weber-Stephen, a maker of charcoal and gas grills, are partners with the Stadium in two grilling stations that will be in business throughout the football season.
The Bud Light corner features a twist on tailgating that the folks who run the stadium are calling “railgating.” It may prove ideal for the 8,000 to 10,000 fans expected to take trains to each game. Those fans — most of them traveling light and without grills — can now buy their barbecue, including a USDA prime, grilled steak sandwich for $19 or an organic chicken kebob sandwich for $10.