MetLife Stadium – New York Giants
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Feeling Blue at MetLife Stadium
MetLife Stadium is the home to both the New York Giants and Jets football teams of the National Football League. The joint venture, privately funded stadium opened for the 2011 season at an approximate cost of $1.6 billion and was the most expensive stadium built at the time. Almost a decade later, the home of football in the New York City market is a facility that, much like the Giants, is all business.
The location of the stadium is in East Rutherford, New Jersey, about 6 miles across the Hudson from Manhattan. The Giants had previously played at Giant Stadium (1976-2010), a football-only facility that was cherished by many fans in the area and was known not to have a single bad seat in the house.
MetLife Stadium has a sleek and modern design that was inspired by the many skyscrapers in New York City. The stadium’s main focal point is that it eliminates the color blue during Giants game, while it glows greens during Jets games. However, this may be the only aspect that gives the stadium a unique feel for the G-Men. The 82,000-seat stadium is all business.
The NFL has seen a wide array of new and distinctive football stadiums in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and soon Las Vegas and Los Angeles, that a facility such as MetLife might get overlooked from an aesthetic standpoint. However, there has always been a waiting list for tickets for Giants games dating back over 40-years and one can expect a full house for games each and every Sunday at the Meadowlands.
Food & Beverage 4
Visitors to the football stadium will see an abundance of concession items that should satisfy their palettes. The food selection is varied with a few specialty items quite impressive and locally made. It is advised to look around or check out the stadium’s website for a complete selection before making a decision.
There is quite a bit to choose from at the game from local to international cuisine: Bahnbekyu offers Korean pulled pork with carrot cabbage slaw sliders, the BBQ Shack offers rib combos and bacon on a stick, Global Pies sells meat pies, and Premio Sausage has the iconic sausage, peppers, and onion sandwich on its menu.
Visitors can also order the basics: stadium hot dog, knish, popcorn, pretzels, nachos, and Pepsi products. Then again it hard to pass up traditional and boneless chicken wings at WingMan NYC and tacos and burritos at Taco’s Raqueros.
There have been many who have noted that the atmosphere between a Giants and Jets game at MetLife Stadium is vastly different, but how? The Giant fan has a more corporate feel and there may have been quite a few fans of the team who have been priced out due to personal seat licenses. Whatever it may be, the stadium is packed and ticket demand is still high for Big Blue.
The Jet fan is what the Giant fan was back in the 70s – 90s: electric, energetic, and vocal for every play no matter what the score. Maybe it’s because over the years they have had more hard times than the Giant fan and they’ve turned that into a good time and party atmosphere (plus you can get tickets for around $40).
The atmosphere begins with the massive amount of barbecue grills that line up in the parking lot before the game. The tailgating scene is top notch and one of the best in NFL–the parking lot is the perfect canvas for the pre-game tradition. If you don’t want to bring your own grill, Metlife Central has all your needs from live music, beers, and food.
MetLife is big and many fans miss the circular ramps that easily brought them to their sections at Giant Stadium; the entrance does get crowded and one needs patience going through security and then up the multiple escalators. It might be wise to check out the official team store located on the lower level.
The Legacy Room is worth visiting offering a wealth of team history that includes jerseys, player busts, photos, memorabilia, and four Super Bowl trophies. The room is open before and during the game and is one of the few areas that adds a flavor to the home of the Giants.
The stadium itself is rather basic in design, much like its predecessor, and is designed with the intention of watching football. There are no obstructions from anywhere in the building and even with many of the high-level seats, there is still not a bad seat in the stadium. There are four massive 30’x 118’ HD video display boards in each corner of the stadium and over 2,200 HDTVs throughout the stadium’s concourse and seating levels.
The crew at MetLife Stadium make the place feel home for the Giants by swapping out the colors of green to blue in the team store, exterior and interior lighting, wall wraps, and photos throughout the concourse. The 200 banners that hang outside the stadium are also individually changed between games.
MetLife Stadium is located in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in the middle of a vast parking lot that makes it ideal for tailgating before the game but does not allow access to any nearby restaurants or bars. That could change as American Dreams Meadowlands retail and entertainment complex is currently under construction near the stadium.
The complex itself was originally swampland and is now surrounded by a racetrack and intersecting interstates and neighboring residential communities of North Jersey. Manhattan is only six miles away from the complex and depending on the mode of travel, can take less than 30 minutes.
However, if staying in New Jersey check out the Tic Toc Diner for a wide variety of food and their iconic dish of Disco Fries. Brix City Brewery, Bolero Snort Brewery, and New Jersey Beer Company are worth having a few samples of pints at after the game.Also, New Jersey is one of the best cities for sports betting, according to betting.com.
The Giant fan is more direct vocally letting you know the rules of the game, how they feel on every single down, and their disgust when their team has failed them. They will get up and leave booing all the way to the car. On the flipside, they are just as vocal and generous with accolades when the team is doing well; however, one slip-up (even in a blowout game the Giants are winning) and they will still let you know their dissatisfaction. Either way, it’s still a great crowd of fans that enjoy the game of NFL football and you’ll find yourself joining in, even the novice fan will get an education of how the game is played from the Giants’ fans.
Getting to MetLife Stadium is relatively simple, most fans arrive by car and use either the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 3 to get there on game days. There are 82,000 parking spots but parking permits are required for all vehicles entering the Sports Complex; fans can purchase a prepaid permit online or on the secondary market. There are off-site lots that offer shuttle service to and from the stadium.
The south side lots D, E, F, and J are the best options if you are looking to get out quickly after the game. However, you can always stick around for a bit after the game and wait for most of the cars to leave the parking lot, but give yourself some time and a little bit of patience if leaving with the majority of fans after a game. An Uber Zone is located in Lot E of West Peripheral Road outside of the Verizon Gate.
There are two mass transit options that provide service from Manhattan. The 351 Meadowlands Express leaves from Port Authority Bus Terminal and costs $7 for a round trip ticket and usually takes approximately 20 minutes. Another option is using New Jersey Transit from Hoboken that allows fans from New York to connect to the bus via the PATH train. The cost is $8.50 for a round trip ticket.
Return on Investment 3
A ticket to a Giants game is among the highest in the NFL at an average of $123 a ticket, compared to about $94 to watch a Jets game. The price to park could cost anywhere from $30 to $50 and may require off-site parking with a shuttle bus, and there are not too many deals to be found at the concession lines. The demand and price for a Giants game have been high since the team moved to New Jersey in 1976 and is one of the toughest tickets to find, but with secondary markets on the internet offering less than market prices, you might be able to find a way not to break your wallet.
The stadium receives a point for its blue lighting on its interior that lights up for Giants games. The MetLife signage also lights up with a blue hue during game days.
Arrive early to tailgate or if you are taking mass transportation, or take advantage of the Bud Light Corner outside the stadium where live music, games, and drink specials are offered before the game.
The Legacy Room displays a wealth of history of the Giants dating back to its founding in 1925. Busts and jerseys of former players encompass the room with the pièce de résistance being the four Vince Lombardi Trophies.
Arguably the biggest, and one of the most modern stadiums in the NFL, MetLife Stadium offers a lot of cool features to enhance the game day experience and is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. It offers a design that is sleek and modern with neutral color seating. It is a stadium that provides a comfortable experience for Giants fans and offers everything imaginable from great food, easy access, and plenty of team memories.
Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment
Extended Stay America Meadowlands – East Rutherford
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Hampton Inn Carlstadt
304 Paterson Plank Rd
Carlstadt, NJ 07072
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