NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., is the $1.6 billion state-of-the-art home of the Giants and Jets. The architectural masterpiece within the Meadowlands Sports Complex seats 82,500 and offers fans the chance to experience modern technology and amenities not seen at many other NFL venues.
MetLife Stadium was the site of Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, becoming the first outdoor, cold-weather venue host the championship game. In additional to NFL games, the stadium also hosts big-name concerts. Recent performers have included Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, One Direction, U2, The Rolling Stones, Eminem and Rihanna.
Coming and Going
Unlike driving to most stadiums in the around the city, taking your car to MetLife Stadium is relatively easy.
- See: Driving directions
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. In addition, there are 5,000 parking spaces adjacent to the east side of the stadium.
As you approach MetLife Stadium, there are highway, street level and variable electronic message signs directing you to parking lot entrances.
It is subject to change, but parking for non-football events costs $40 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 with Personal Seat Licenses (PSL). Otherwise, it’ll cost $250 for a permit in general parking (good for 10 games).
- View: Parking map
- 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 farthest from the stadium. There is a lot next to the now-closed 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 experience 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 three hours before game time and continue to run two hours after the event’s end. Purchase round-trip 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 about 12 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, non-stop 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 round trip and $5 one way.
Note there are gate changes going into effect at the Port Authority of New York bus terminal on Sept. 8, 2019, which will affect NFL game day travel. For all weekend NFL games, Gates 410, 411, 412 and 413 at PABT will now be used for the 351 Bus Service. For weekday games, a gate will be used at Area X. For more information, see www.panynj.gov/PABTgates for details.
On NFL game days the bus will drop fans off on the west side of the stadium where fans can take 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, Guests may check any items that are not permitted in the stadium for a nominal fee.
Surprise item you can’t bring in: Seat cushions and medium or larger bags
The restriction applies to purses, handbags, camera cases, binocular cases, backpacks, fanny packs, diaper bags, briefcases and computer bags — anything larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches, unless it is clear plastic, per the stadium’s clear bag policy.
What is allowed? Follow these guidelines:
- Clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bags that are 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or less in size. One bag per person.
- Non-clear, small purses/handbags (clutch-type bags) that are 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches or less in size. One bag per person.
- One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc or similar).
Note: An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose.
Surprise item you can’t bring in: Strollers or umbrellas
Hopefully, it won’t rain during the game because umbrellas are not permitted in the Stadium. Neither are banners and/or signs. Bags or purses that are 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches 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).
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 fans 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.
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: SeatGeek.com searches for tickets available on all major secondary markets. It uses algorithms to analyze whether each ticket is a good or bad deal. SeatGeek also offers forecasts for ticket prices based on historical transactions.
The stadium has seating for 82,566 fans, including 10,005 club seats and approximately 220 luxury suites.
“There isn’t a bad seat in the house” is the mantra about the stadium. Despite a decade-old complaint about obstructed view seating, the sight lines in this stadium are for the most part stunning.
- See: MetLife Stadium seating chart info.
- 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-foot by 118-foot HD video display boards in each of the stadium’s four corners. In addition, MetLife Stadium is equipped with a 360-degree ribbon board that circles 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 the action. There are 2,018 HDTVs 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 HDTVs.
Fans who wish to report issues or concerns may ask for information or call for assistance in by texting to 78247, type the word NMS followed by a space, and 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.
- 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.