I sincerely want to thank you for your most generous gift of treating me to a Giants football game yesterday. My son and my wife asked about the game and my son who is a giant fan too said sorry the team did not show up; how was the new stadium. So I decided to answer him in writing. This is what I wrote. Please, please know it is absolutely no reflection on you or your generosity to me. I never look a gift horse in mouth. I did as I said above appreciate and again, thank you for the treat.
Oh one other thing would you believe I heard Mike on the FAN (WFAN radio) this evening talking about the lack of sit down eating facilities for the ordinary fan at the Stadium. I don’t know what price is considered above ordinary but I noticed that too. I am actually amazed fans don’t rise up and tell the owners a thing or two.
So here I go with how my trek out to the Meadowlands to see a giants game went.
Monday November, 15, 2010
I went to my first and probably last New York (that’s a joke as they are located in and only play in New Jersey) Giants game yesterday at the new Meadowlands Stadium
For me it is now an once-in-a-lifetime experience which nobody needs to experience.
I was thrilled when a friend invited me to see a game and mailed me a $100 ticket. Wow I thought this is going to be great. Back in the late 50s and the 1960s I had a season ticket with two friends. We went to the Giant games which were played in Yankee Stadium and subsequently in the now torn down Giants Stadium built in the Jersey Meadowlands before the new sports complex was built. In the dozen or so years we attended religiously the team was a perennial loser, as we three single guys became family men we found spending Sundays away from family, and especially to watch a team that always lost, we gave up our season tickets. In the years since I attended on game at the old stadium. This was to be my inaugural visit to the new Giants and Jets stadium and maybe would give me a taste to return to see games in person once again. I have long been an avid Giant fan but strictly a TV viewer
with great anticipation, I drove from Southern Westchester and reached the Sports complex fairly easily. The first thing I encountered was signs at all the very many parking lots reading “parking permit” parking lot. So I drove around looking for and expecting to find a parking lot at the complex where a permit was not required.
I was soon to learn nothing like that exists in the sports complex.
There were also signs “non parking permit.” So I followed one of the signs along twisting and turning roads and lost complete site of the stadium and the sports complex and found myself on Route something or other and then saw various private parking lots. If you don't have a parking permit (I had neither any clue I did not needed one nor would I have known how to obtain one) you park somewhere NJ where you have no idea where you are but are a long way from the stadium.
The first couple of lots, and I use the word advisedly, which I passed were really empty lots. Not empty of cars but areas that are nothing more than empty lots when they're not parking cars.You know, areas full of weeds and rocks and dirt and ground that is not level.
Then I came upon one which was not really one lot but a series of interconnected parking lots of various fast food dives and bars. They had a sign “shuttle bus.” That was appealing as I had no idea where I was. So I pulled in and immediately encountered a burly parking lot guy who said "$25 please.”
So I concluded that parking facilities in the sports complex are apparently only available to season ticket holders (I assume if they pay through the nose for the permits) as I saw red permits and blue permits and lots marked accordingly depending I would imagine on proximity to the Stadium. Suffice to say parking is atrocious and the arrangements despicable for anyone else who was as I was, “an anyone else.”
As I said I parked in a lot that had (lousy old) shuttle busses.
As I am giving you a picture of getting into the Stadium let me tell you here and now about getting out of the stadium-- and I left early with 7 minutes to play – it was awful. First of all I had to join the fast growing crowd at the appointed place we were told to wait for the buses at the end of the game. The crowd at the point was like time Square on New Year's Eve. When the bus arrived the crowd pushed and shoved to climb aboard. I declined to join the crowd but I really lucked out because the very next bus that came along stopped so that the entrance door was exactly in front of me. I was the first to climb aboard. The poor souls who followed pushed and shoved and stood so close to one another aboard the bus that I imagine not all of them were able to breathe at the same time.
The traffic getting out was bumper to bumper and moved extremely slowly at less than a snails pace. It too quite a long time to arrive at the now pitch dark interconnected lots where I was parked and had to really search around for my car
The traffic home was just miles and miles and more miles and more than halfway to the G W bridge not o dissimilar from the crowded parking lots; stadium egress is one awful and ridiculous experience
Now for the stadium and game experience.
The stadium lights went out three times and once left us in pitch darkness. It was a bit scary given 80,000 people mostly boisterous men; many looking a little thug-like.
Concerning the blackouts .....they told us nothing. Anyway even if the had the loud speaker system is so bad it is impossible to hear what is being said.
There were several penalties during the game that were not signaled by the refs and were not announced by the refs on the P A system which as I said was difficult to hear. Thus in many situations the crowd had no idea what happened
There were several TV reviews of plays BY THE REFS and while their are "giant" TV screens in four locations, they not once showed the play being reviewed and in fact they also repeat (do not show) any controversial plays.
The stadium is pretty and was totally full. The entry and egress is worse than awful – it is terrible
Fortunately I had no hunger because the food stations looked full of unappetizing offerings and I only saw them on way in and way out and the prices I noticed were out of this world.
The men’s room was tiny compared with Shea or Citifield or Yankee Stadium old and new.
The fact that the Giants won most of the game’s major stats as they gained more yardage, completed more passes, had the ball for more minutes, but showed no defense and made more errors meant they were on the short end of the score, and the interception of a Manning pass led to a 100 yard TD which is something rarely seen, but was exciting even if it wasn’t for my team.
Other than that I am glad to be home after a 2 hr return trip home which is normally on a Sunday a 35 min drive at most.