East Rutherford, NJ
vs. New York Giants
New York Giants Stadium
December 5, 2010
31 - 7 Win
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Capacity: 78,741 seats
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Draft Beer: $8.00 (bottled)
Hot Dog: $4.75
Stadium Parking: $40.00
50 State Highway 120
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Stadium Review -
Merry Christmas, New York
There’s something special about spending the Christmas season in New York City. The city that never sleeps gets dressed up in the spirit of the holiday season as decorations adorn familiar landscapes and city streets are jam packed with holiday shoppers and tourists. Christmas lights brighten up archways and skyscrapers along with holiday themed sculptures scattered throughout the island of Manhattan making Christmas cheer a more tangible presence in the Big Apple (and by the way, I say the word “Christmas”, not to be politically incorrect, but just to be traditional … does one really have to say “Happy Holidays” so as not to offend? The whole thing is really quite tiresome).
Earlier this year, I was in town for a New York Jets game and saw MetLife Stadium all decked out in green and white as a home field for the New York Jets. My return to MetLife Stadium this time was in an effort to find out how the stadium decor differs for New York Giants home games. Unlike the old Giants Stadium that was basically a New York Giants venue that Jets fans occupied from time to time, architects of MetLife Stadium set out to create a gameday facility that could transform in appearance inside and out to align itself as a true home stadium for either team. Through the use of some innovative colored lighting technologies, the louvered slats of the stadium’s exterior can be lit up to appear in green and white for Jets home games or in blue and white when the Giants are in town. In addition, twenty, sixty foot tall HD video pylons flank the exterior of the stadium to provide some additional home team color. The video pylons feature constantly changing gameday content including announcements, team highlights, and player interviews and there are two at every stadium gate.
Walking through the gates at the main entrance to MetLife Stadium, fans are greeted by a massive louvered billboard that can be flipped on gameday to feature either a New York Jets logo or a New York Giants player collage. Inside the concourse, removable section signage featuring team colors and logos are posted at each entrance and even the concessions menus, which are displayed on flatscreen TV’s reflect home team colors. Entering the seating area, four massive 30 x 118 foot HD video display boards, positioned in each corner of the stadium, are lit up in green and white or red and blue throughout the game to offer that home team feel. Fans will also notice that the player ring of fame is replaced with the appropriate honorees for each home game, and that all 40 sections of endzone FieldTurf are rolled up and replaced to install each team’s respective endzones as well.
The most interesting transformation, however, happens in the Pro Shop near the main entrance, as clothing racks and merchandise displays are built on rollers allowing staff to easily move them in and out of team store fully stocked with apparel. The interior of the ProShop is actually painted white in color allowing colored lights to completely transform the walls and ceiling by bathing these areas in either a green or blue light. Team oriented logos and images are also projected on the walls to enhance the home team feel. It’s actually quite ingenious, depending upon which team claims MetLife Stadium as their home for the weekend, fans will find a true home team transformation giving the facility the appropriate look and feel for gameday in East Rutherford.
Gameday for me began at 6:45am as I met Greg “The Shark” Scharfstein from Big Blue BBQ on the service drive leading into the stadium lots. With a hot coffee to greet me and an 8:00am start time, we waited in pole position eagerly anticipating the opportunity to claim our spot in Lot 19-J. Parking is provided on a first come, first serve basis outside MetLife Stadium, so to get your preferred spot it’s best to be in line early. The time passed quickly though, as we chatted about the playoff chances of these New York Football Giants and the goings on with Big Blue BBQ. As soon as 8:00am hit, it was like a mini-baja through the parking lot as tailgaters zoomed across the asphalt to claim their preferred parking areas of choice.
December in East Rutherford offered blisteringly cold winds and low temperatures, so I donned my traditional multilayered thermal fat suit to insulate me from Mother Nature’s harsh conditions. I actually had no idea how ridiculous I looked until I flipped through the photos much later. It’s a wonder my wife let’s me walk around in public looking like a mini, pale-faced Sherman Klump.
Big Blue BBQ is a full service, professional grade outfit that specializes in premiere gourmet fan tailgating. Over the years the Big Blue BBQ Crew headed up by Scott, Greg, John, and Joe have honed their craft and established themselves as one of the best in the lot at MetLife Stadium. Setup begins with the Big Blue BBQ trailer. Functional in nature because it stores and transports all of their gear and also sports some impressive custom New York Giants decals and paint, this trailer is much more than simply an equipment mule. One side of the trailer opens to reveal a 60-inch plasma flatscreen and full bar with a beer tap on the left and a rather nice half bath on the right side of the bar for the ladies. The bar is always stocked with top shelf liquor and the food is some of the best you’ll find in an NFL stadium parking lot. Big Blue BBQ always attracts a sizable following of fans and spending pregame with these guys is always a good time.
My next stop was over to see BigBlueTailgaters.com and frontman John Bakalarczyk over in Lot L. Headquartered in their classic 1980 Sportcoach RV, BigBlueTailgaters.com is a fixture in the lot for every home game and these guys have a great cast of characters that meet up on gameday for pregame libations. When I arrived, the grills were fired up, the beer was flowing, and the Big Blue Box (their portable all-in-one entertainment center) was fully operational with a flatscreen TV hosting the Fox pregame show via a DirecTV satellite link. So with a brat in one hand and an ice cold liquid beverage of choice in the other, we gathered around the Big Blue Box to chat and check out the pregame. While I was hanging out, I met Peg Callahan. Peg and her husband have decided to take to the road to tailgate in every stadium in the NFL in their custom RV mobile office. On her website, PlacesandPlatypie.com, they describe their adventures on the road and interact with other road warriors. We chatted for a bit and incredibly enough, Peg is an avid follower of mine (it’s rumored that she referred to me as “the Marlon Brando of Tailgating,” I did mention that the beer was flowing didn’t I?). Anyway, she immediately knew exactly who Crystal was and asked about our daughter Annabella. Peg, you made my day. It’s always amazing to me to meet people who actually read my stuff, and Peg is proof positive that I’m not just posting these reviews in the nebulous regions of cyberspace.
was upon us before we knew it and it was time once again to enter
the hallowed halls of MetLife Stadium, the new home of the
New York Football Giants. With the Washington Redskins in town, a
hated division rival, it was bound to be a great game. The cold
weather and blustery winds of the day that whipped through MetLife Stadium tended to dictate play toward running the ball,
and run the ball is exactly what the G-men did. With a dominant
tandem of running backs in Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, the
Giants punished the visiting Redskins with an imposing ground game
that tallied four touchdowns and over 200 yards on the day. New
York’s defense was equally effective against Redskins quarterback,
Donovan McNabb, harassing the former All-Pro and holding their
struggling offense to only seven points. The New York Giants
controlled the ball through four quarters of football and
steamrolled the reeling Redskins by a score of 31 – 7 allowing them
to keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles for the division lead at 8
– 4. If these guys can continue to dominate the line of scrimmage
like they did today, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with come
|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
Coney Island - Amusements
Circle Line 45St & West Side (boat tour 3 hours around Manhattan Island)
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.
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)
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. 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.
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Buy Pre-Paid Parking for New York Giants Games here:
|New Meadowlands Stadium||HD Video Pylons at the Stadium Gates||It's Mad Mike, Joe and the Crew|
|Amy and Myself at Big Blue BBQ||Tailgating with Big Blue BBQ||Greg "The Shark" pourin' me a beer|
|Flatscreen in HD with Full Bar at BigBlueBBQ||Quite a Spread!||Ladies and Gents, the great John Bakalarczyk|
|Peg Callahan from PlacesandPlatypie.com||Haingin out on the Sidelines||Watching the pregame warmup|
|New Meadowlands Stadium Giants Endzone||Quite a View!||Amy, Crystal and Myself|
|Exterior Lighting in Blue||The New Home of the New York Giants||New York Football Giants Mural|
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.
|Rich Davi from Milford, New Jersey||
Pleasure chatting with you at the Big Blue
BBQ at the New Meadowlands Stadium before the Giants/Redskins game. Good
luck with your quest for 31. And best of luck with the new addition to
your family. Just remember to stay true to the BILLS as you go from
stadium to stadium!
Joe Kostecki the
GIANTS fans from Scotch Plains
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 1:51 PM
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