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  • Richard Smith

MetLife Stadium – New York Giants


Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.00

MetLife Stadium 1 MetLife Stadium Dr East Rutherford, NJ 07073


Year Opened: 2010

Capacity: 82,500


 

No Longer Just Giants Stadium


MetLife Stadium was opened in 2010 as the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets to replace Giants Stadium. It is located in the Meadowlands Sports Complex just like its predecessor. The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as part of the National Football Conference (NFC) East division.


They have four Super Bowl championships and an additional 4 pre-Super Bowl league championships. The team began in 1925, first playing in the famous Polo Grounds. Over the years they have also called Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl, Shea Stadium, and the previously mentioned Giants Stadium as their home stadiums.


The Giants relocated across the Hudson to East Rutherford, New Jersey, to Giants Stadium in 1976. The swampland area is called the Meadowlands and is 6 miles from Manhattan's Penn Station. The sports complex features the Meadowlands Racetrack, the now-vacant IZOD Arena, and the American Dream shopping mall. MetLife Stadium opened in 2010.


Food & Beverage 4

There are numerous food options within the surprisingly crowded inner concourses.


Options are many as there with concession stands such as Bubba Burgers, Frank’s, BBQ Shack, Boardwalk Fryer, Wingman NY, and Momma Fusco’s Kitchen. Our personal favorite was Mr. Tot. Food prices are high, as likely expected for an NFL stadium within the New York City area. The combined Mrs. Field’s and Dippin’ Dots stands to seem to be very popular starting in the second half.


There are also a few specialized bars and lounges, some of which may cost an additional admissions fee. MetLife sells Pepsi brand sodas.


Atmosphere 5

When you enter the venue you start on an outside concourse that wraps around most of the stadium. There will be activities and events pre-game in this area. This area is also a good meet-up spot for pre and post-game.


Once inside the stadium, there is a pretty small set of concourse walkways around the venue. It is a unique setup, but it is easy enough to navigate.


The Giants do a decent job of providing atmosphere although they seem to try to keep things professional and somewhat subdued. It does not seem as raucous as some NFL games we have attended.


Metlife Stadium tries to make the stadium awash in blue for Giant's games. The stadium seems to do a better job at making it feel like a Giants game than when the Jets take over the stadium. It is pretty interesting to try and pick out the areas where the stadium needs to change over from game to game.


Neighborhood 3

The Meadowlands is a swamp. That is not some kind of put-down, but it is in a literal swamp. There is not a normal neighborhood nearby. Of course, New York City is a car or train ride away and offers many options for everyone. Parking lots surround the stadium.


The addition of the recently opened American Dream Mall helps the place in the neighborhood score. While still not 100% open, it is home to many stores, restaurants, an indoor amusement and water park, an NHL-sized skating rink, an indoor ski slope, and an aquarium just to name a few. Please note that due to county laws, many stores in the mall are closed on Sundays due to existing blue laws.

Fans 4

The Giants fans do feel like they are in a bit of a funk. The team has not provided consistent on-field quality for a few years and it does seem to be affecting things such as attendance. Even with that said, the team has a long history and a large dedicated fan base that provides good amounts of cheer for their team.


Access 4

The Meadowlands is located off many major highways and has massive parking lots. You will not fight to find parking, although expect to pay $40 and up. There are train and bus options but expect long lines and a large number of fellow riders to fight through to use those services. The Coach USA bus service round trip to Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal is one of our favorite options, depending on where fans are coming from.


We do not recommend using rideshares after games as the setup and operations are a major disaster. We tried for a rideshare for a bit of time and it kept saying our ride was arriving in three minutes for nearly 25 minutes, all the while we were harassed by taxi drivers offering their much more expensive services. We ended up taking the train to nearby Secaucus Junction Station and getting a much cheaper rideshare from there, and it only cost a fraction of our original ride choice.

Return on Investment 4

This is the NFL so the prices can be high, coupled with pretty expensive parking, which means the game will not be cheap. But for the experience you will get, the price seems fair and reasonable.

Extras 4

The 50-yard line seats are only 46 feet from the sidelines. This is the closest to the field of any stadium in the NFL.


MetLife Stadium has hosted Super Bowl XLVIII, two Wrestlemanias, and concerts by artists such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Paul McCartney.


The Meadowland Rail Station for New Jersey Transit is located right by the stadium and offers game-day transit.


The American Dream Mall is a bit of a mess, having many business issues, but it is still an interesting spot to check out in the area.

Final Thoughts

A game at MetLife Stadium is a great way to cap a trip to New York City and is also great for locals. The stadium may not feel like it costs 1.6 Billion dollars, but that does not mean it isn’t a good place for a game.

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