Stadium #27
Giants Stadium
East Rutherford, NJ
San Diego Chargers vs. New York Giants
New York Giants Stadium
November 8, 2009
21 - 20 Loss
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  Stadium Vitals
Built: 1976
Capacity: 78,741 seats
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Draft Beer: $8.00 (bottled)
Hot Dog: $4.75
Stadium Parking: $40.00
New York Giants LogoGiants Stadium

50 State Highway 120
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
(201) 935-8111  
Get Directions 
  Stadium Review - "All Hail the New York Giants!"
A ten hour road trip to New Jersey separated me from East Rutherford, New Jersey to watch the New York Football Giants take on the San Diego Super Chargers in a Week Nine Sunday afternoon matchup at Giants Stadium. So we packed up the Quest Machine and were on the road Friday evening right after work. Arriving in New Jersey early Saturday morning, I was amazed at how difficult it was to decode the cryptic New Jersey highway system. Even the GPS seemed to have trouble navigating the mishmash of bridges, tunnels, and elevated highways. We were constantly rerouting for no apparent reason, exiting via seemingly misplaced off-ramps, or crossing one of the many dilapidated-looking bridges in the area. I'm sure there are parts of New Jersey that are very picturesque, but judging by what I saw over the weekend, apparently I didn't happen to make it to those parts.

Early on Saturday morning we linked up with Mad Mike in Jersey City. Mike sold me his parking pass for the game which allowed us to park the Quest Machine right in the stadium lot. This was incredibly fortunate as it allowed us to avoid the mass of humanity trying to locate offsite parking on gameday, which would have really ruined the pregame libations. Right now with construction of the new stadium underway, the parking situation at Giants Stadium is a mess. Most people take public transit, such as the buses or trains that regularly service the area or they're parking off-site and then taking a shuttle bus to the game. Both options have their advantages, but I think they're outweighed by some severe drawbacks. The new rail system that was recently built to service the Meadowlands just opened this season, but it doesn't start running until two and a half hours before gametime (so there's no tailgating for these fans). Off-site parking is doable, but you spend the entire morning trying to get on a shuttle bus to the stadium when you should be guzzling that ice cold gameday beverage of choice. In my experience, if you're interested in doing some pregame tailgating, the best option is buy a parking pass. If you can't get your hands on a parking pass, take a New Jersey Transit bus. They begin running around 7:00AM, so they'll get you to the lot in plenty of time, and they're much easier than trying to park near the Meadowlands in a satellite lot. The return trip is a great time to grab that new rail back to New York, but be careful because it will quit running a couple hours after gametime as well.

Gameday at Giants Stadium was incredible. It was an uncharacteristically warm New York November day. With gameday temperatures in the mid-sixties, Giants fans were out in full force showcasing why this is one of the better tailgating venues in the league. Just like the Jets fans we visited earlier in the year, New York Giants fans are exceptional tailgaters. Once situated in their parking areas of choice, tailgaters throughout the lot setup the temporary tent communities that have become commonplace throughout the league and get to the business of putting meat to flame as soon as possible. To guide me in my own immersive study of New York Football Giants Tailgating, I selected two of their finest representatives to show me the ropes. Big Blue Tailgaters and Big Blue BBQ came highly recommended and as perennial asphalt all pros.  I knew they would be welcome additions to my Tailgating Hall of Fame.

I began by stopping in on Big Blue Tailgaters which traditionally sets up in lot 13B. Situated a bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the main lot, you'll find their 1981 SportCoach RV parked adjacent to the Giants practice field in the southwest corner of the lot. John Bakalarczyk and his crew have rescued this classic road warrior from living out its final days rotting away in relative obscurity, as it now makes the trip to Giants Stadium for every home game. A $1500 craigslist purchase, the SportCoach was meticulously restored with earth tone window treatments and some awesome, bronze-colored shag carpeting, making the plush interior of their tailgating cruiser an optimal tailgating base of operations. As, John and a bunch of buddies from high school continue to gather for Giants home games, cooking up some great barbecue and sharing in their ice cold liquid beverage of choice. Great group of folks, great food, a good time was definitely had by all.

For the latter part of the day, we retired to the other side of the lot to hang out with Big Blue BBQ and Greg Scharfstein, our host for the day. A amalgamation of once separate tailgates, Greg, Joe, Jimmy, and John have an incredible following over in 18F. A custom trailer painted with Giants Logos hosts a full bar, flatscreen TV, and onboard bathroom facilities to provide a suitable central command for Big Blue BBQ. Two ten by ten steel-framed tents flank the trailer, offering guests a respite from the elements with plenty of comfortable seating. Tailgaters spend the day watching NFL games in HD and eating some of the best BBQ available in the lot. There was plenty of great food and snacks and lots of beer (these guys had Sam Adams on tap!), as my family and I sampled everything.  A live DJ was spinning tunes throughout the pregame party and there were plenty of tailgate games to keep the fans entertained (I need to introduce these guys to fowling). If you're looking for prime time tailgating, this is the spot. Very impressive tailgate, lots of friendly, knowledgable fans, I was honored to be invited.

As gametime approached, we made our way over to Giants Stadium. I purchased some exceptional lower bowl seats from TicketCity that gave us a great view of the field. Wearing my Osi Umenyiora jersey, I was interested in keying in on the Giants Defense who appeared to be a big reason for their quick start at the beginning of the season. The first half ended in a 7-7 tie as the New York Giants Defense held LaDanian Tomlinson in check, continuing their dominant play. In the second half the Giants offense came to life building a solid lead, but settling for field goals when they should have punched it in the endzone.  In the end, the Giants allowed San Diego to hang around way too long and they paid dearly as Philip Rivers led the go ahead touchdown drive to notch a big win for the Chargers.  With a touchdown strike to Vincent Jackson leaving 21 seconds left on the clock, the San Diego Super Chargers stole a win.

For more information on the city of New York, NY check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
     NFL: December 5, 2010 - Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
     NFL: October 11, 2010 - Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Jets
NFL: September 20, 2009 - New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
NBA: Madison Square Garden General Information & Cheap NBA Tickets
     NHL: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum - General Information
     NHL: Madison Square Garden - General Information

New York City Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
Empire State Building, Broadway, Time Square
Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island
Ground Zero Memorial, Central Park
Little Italy / Chinatown
Top of the Rock - Rockerfeller Center
Yankee Stadium
Coney Island - Amusements
Circle Line 45St & West Side (boat tour 3 hours around Manhattan Island)

Local Foods:
New York Style Pizza
Nathans Hot Dogs - Coney Island

What They're Drinkin':
Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA, Brooklyn Intensified Coffee Stout, Miller Lite, Bud Lite

Tailgating Hotspots:
Lot 16E & Lot 18C, these days grab a spot wherever you can get one.

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of New York
New York City Transit System Map

NJ Transit System Map
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map

Fan Forum:

Local Sports Media:
New York Post, New York Times, New York Daily News
660 WFAN

1050AM - ESPN Radio

Where To Stay:
When you’re in New York, and you can spend the money, you should plan to stay in Manhattan. The big city lights, dizzying skyscrapers, and especially the nightlife, makes NYC the place to be.  Hotels in the city will cost you though, so my suggestion is to stay near the stadium and train into the city. 

There are three hotels near Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Crowne Plaza Hotel Secaucus, Sheraton Meadowlands, Residence Inn Marriott .

If you plan on seeing NY. Popular hotels include Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Avenue (very central to all major attractions including Penn Station train to Giants Stadium), W Hotel NY, Hotel Gansevoort, Doubletree Hotel New York, Holiday Inn Express Madison Square Garden, Hotel Pennsylvania.

Popular Bar Districts:
Manhattan - 2nd Avenue 57 Street to 42nd Street (Sutton Place, Turtle Bay,
       Calico Jacks, McFadden's)

Greenwich Village - Bleeker St. (McSorley's Old Ale House-est. 1854,
       Down the Hatch, White Horse Tavern)
Brooklyn (Radegast Hall & Beer Garden, Spuyten Duyvil, Park Slope Ale
       House, Beer Table, The Gate)
SoHo - McDougal Street
Hoboken, NJ (Black Bear, Green Rock, Whiskey Bar, Texas Arizona)

Best Restaurants:
Manhattan's Restaurant Row (located at 46th Street between 8th and 9th)
Little Italy ( ... )

Babbo (fine Italian dining)
Gramercy Tavern (fine dining)
Bouley (fine French cuisine)
Union Square Cafe (new American cuisine)
Oyster Bar (seafood) 

Tao - 57 St & Madison Ave (Asian)
Harry's Burrito - 71 St & Columbus Ave (Mexican)
Vincent's Little Italy - Hester St & Mulberry St (Italian)
John's Italian Restuarant 12 St between 2nd and 1st Ave
Ferrara's - Grand Street & Mulberry Little Italy (Pastry)
Woo Hop & Hop Key - Chinatown Mott St & Pell St (Chinese)
Peter Lugers Steakhouse - Brooklyn NY

Getting to the Stadium:
Only ticket holders with with a Pre-Paid Parking Permits will be allowed to park at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.  However, the NJ Transit has just built a new rail line to service the Meadowlands Sports Complex from Hoboken.  This is really the best way to get to a Giants Game.  For more information on the new rail line click here.  The only problem is that the trains don't starting running to the stadium until 10:30am on game day. 

From New Jersey:

Park your car at a rail station and take the rail line to Hoboken.  Get off at the Hoboken PATH Station and walk upstairs to the NJ Transit Rail Station. Buy a ticket to Meadowlands Sports Complex Station and locate your train to the game. 

From New York City:
Take one the subway lines to the 34St-Penn Station.
Go to any NJ Transit station clerk or Ticket Vending Machine, and buy a round trip ticket to Meadowlands Station. Look on the departure boards for the next NJ Transit train that stops at Secaucus Junction Station. The screen will say "SEC" next to the line name. Board that train and ride it to Secaucus Junction, and then use your ticket to transfer via the escalators to the Meadowlands Service.

If you want to get to the lot before 10:30am, take the subway lines to the Port Authority Station.  From there take Bus No. 161 into New Jersey.  Tell the Bus driver you want to get off near the Meadowlands.

Planning Your Next Trip to see the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap New York Giants tickets, stadium seating charts, local weather, hotel, and flight information, everything you need to plan a successful trip to MetLife Stadium.

Compare Prices for
New York Giants
Football Tickets Here:

Click on the following links for New York Giants ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web.  Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
New Meadowlands Stadium Seating Chart

Take a Stadium Tour of MetLife Stadium:

The New Meadowlands Stadium will offer regularly scheduled tours once the building is complete. Please check back here regularly for details regarding the tours











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            New York Giants
          2010 NFL Schedule

1 Sunday, 12-Sep CAR @ NYG 1:00 PM
2 Sunday, 19-Sep NYG @ IND 8:20 PM
3 Sunday, 26-Sep TEN @ NYG 1:00 PM
4 Sunday, 3-Oct CHI @ NYG 8:20 PM
5 Sunday, 10-Oct NYG @ HOU 1:00 PM
6 Sunday, 17-Oct DET @ NYG 1:00 PM
7 Monday, 25-Oct NYG @ DAL 8:30 PM
8 Bye
9 Sunday, 7-Nov NYG @ SEA 4:05 PM
10 Sunday, 14-Nov DAL @ NYG 4:15 PM
11 Sunday, 21-Nov NYG @ PHI 8:20 PM
12 Sunday, 28-Nov JAC @ NYG 1:00 PM
13 Sunday, 5-Dec WAS @ NYG 1:00 PM
14 Sunday, 12-Dec NYG @ MIN 1:00 PM
15 Sunday, 19-Dec PHI @ NYG 1:00 PM
16 Sunday, 26-Dec NYG @ GB 4:15 PM
17 Sunday, 2-Jan NYG @ WAS 1:00 PM


Click for Forecast for 07073 from
Stadium #27 - Giants Stadium   Awesome New York Football Giants Bus   Big Blue Tailgaters
  Quest for 31 &  
The Big Blue Box   John and the SportCoach RV   Hanging with some Tailgating Die Hards
Myself, Crystal and Annabella   Custom Trailer and BigBlueBBQ   Mad Mike, Joe, Kendall, and Connor
  Quest for 31 at Big Blue BBQ   Big Blue Barbecue Tailgating
Greg from BigBlue BBQ & Mad Mike's Crew   BIG BLUE BBQ   I need one of these trailers...
Havin' a beer with Greg   Great Food, Great Folks, Great Tailgate   Anna, Myself, Aimee, Crystal
  Quest for 31 Photo op - Phil Simms   The fam at Giants Stadium
There's the fam   Phil Simms!   One last pic before we go.
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have
for my journey to MetLife Stadium, including the following:
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
All commentary will be moderated.  Your e-mail address will not be published.



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Joe Kostecki the GIANTS fans from Scotch Plains
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 1:51 PM

Hello Hans,
Hope you and your family enjoyed their visit to the meadowlands. Too bad the game was a bit of a stinker. We really enjoyed meeting you guys in the Giants Stadium parking lot while tailgating. Just in case you forgot, My buddy mike hooked you up with the parking pass. My son and I will be going out to Chicago to see the bears play the Vikings on December 28th. We are currently looking for tickets and the pregame tailgate festivities, any suggestions would be appreciated. Hopefully you will get to all 31 stadiums.
Thank you,  Joe Kostecki

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