"When the New York Jets departed the Big Apple for the Garden State in 1984, they left behind a dilapidated stadium and second-class citizenship foisted upon them by the New York Mets. What did they get when they crossed the river from Queens to Manhattan to alight in East Rutherford, New Jersey? More seats, better parking, a better financial deal and second-class citizenship courtesy of the Stadium's prime tenants, the New York Giants. The Jets try to make the place homey by hanging green coverings and bunting over the (Giants') blue walls, but they failed a few years ago in an attempt to get the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to rename the big cement dish.
Jets fans never will be mistaken for hoity-toity folks attending the opera. They know the game, and make their displeasure known when all is not well. With the Jets, not having had a winning season since 1988, all has not been well in some time. And we're not just talking about boos and chants. At a Monday night game in 1988, with the home team badly trailing Buffalo, some fans set fire to their seats.
By contrast, Giants fans seem positively genteel. Tickets have been in their families longer, and they're more respectful of neighboring patrons. Jets fans tend to be younger and, well, more boisterous. Win or lose, you can expect a hot time at the ballpark when the Jets play."
As written by The Sports Staff of USA TODAY in "The Complete Four Sport Stadium Guide" for Fodor's Sports
FOCUS-Giuliani lures pro football with new stadium
By Joan Gralla
January 14, 1999 (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Thursday proposed a massive new sports complex on Manhattan's West Side, trying to lure a professional football team with a domed stadium, and urging Madison Square Garden to relocate next door.
A far less ambitious plan for the site, a billion-dollar baseball stadium for the World Champion New York Yankees, has already sparked fierce community opposition because of cost, traffic and environmental considerations.
But far from conceding to such criticism, the mayor, a possible presidential contender in 2000, expanded his blueprint.
Giuliani's new plan, in addition to a football stadium and a basketball and ice hockey arena for the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, would expand the city's Jacob Javits Convention Center and extend a subway line from Times Square to the complex.
The Republican mayor, who smilingly declined to elaborate on any national ambitions during his sixth annual State of the City address at City Hall, listed the new complex as one of the monuments he wanted his administration to leave behind.
Giuliani did not rule out the earlier plan to use the site for the Yankees, who have yet to decide whether to stay in their historic Bronx stadium. Indeed, he said that option must be kept open in order to negotiate effectively.
The mayor did not name a specific football team, but his mention of "Super Bowl champions'' was seen as a reference to the New York Jets, who face the Denver Broncos on Sunday in the AFC division title game. The winner will advance to the Super Bowl on January 31, 1999.
The Jets, despite keeping New York in their name, in the mid-1980s moved from Queens to the Meadowlands sports complex in East Rutherford, N.J. The New York Giants play in East Rutherford as well.
Gene Herman, a spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman, who has frequently tried to attract New York-based enterprises to the Garden State, said: "Since the mayor can't find anyone to take his garbage, maybe he could build a landfill, put a stadium on it and look for an expansion team.''
Whitman, also a Republican, has bashed Giuliani's plan to ship garbage to two transfer sites in her state.
Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, made it clear that any decision will depend at least in part on how much aid is granted.
"He (Steinbrenner) still has the opportunity of going to th West Side. If the White House and state and city get together and pump a great deal of money in the Bronx, he still has that proposal,'' Rubinstein said.
Giuliani said the Yankees and the Mets, who want a new baseball stadium in Queens, would both have to help pay for their new homes. So would the city, the state, and the private sector.
The mayor, a baseball aficionado, said he also was a football fan, but that economics was one of his main motivations.
"This is the way you do economic development,'' Giuliani said, pointing to the jobs that would be created and the real estate development such a huge project would spur.
New York State Gov. George Pataki has favored the Yankees' remaining in the Bronx but any reaction to the present project would be premature, a spokesman said. "We have not seen the mayor's proposal and we cannot comment on something we have not seen.''
A spokesman for City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, who also wants to keep the Yankees uptown, said traffic might be less of a problem with a football stadium as there would be far fewer games. Vallone's spokesman called the mayor's plan: "Great
news because it looks like the Yankees would stay in the Bronx.''
Civic and community groups, some of whom successfully blocked earlier plans to expand the West Side highway, could pose the most serious obstacle to Giuliani's ambitions.
Giants Stadium Fast Facts and Industry Awards
* GIANTS STADIUM: Named for the Football Giants, the first professional franchise to lease the facility.
* LOCATION: East Rutherford, Bergen County, New Jersey. Giants Stadium is bounded by Route 120, the Continental Airlines Arena and the New Jersey Turnpike on the east, Route 3 on the south, Berrys Creek and Route 17 on the west and Paterson Plank Road on the north.
* 4 miles west of Lincoln Tunnel
* 8 miles from George Washington Bridge
* 12 miles from Newark International Airport
* Accessible to New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 80, Routes 3, 17, 120
* MEADOWLANDS SPORTS COMPLEX: Giants Stadium, along with the Continental Airlines Arena and the Meadowlands Racetrack, make up the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Complex was constructed on a 750-acre site at a cost of $450 million and is considered one of the greatest sports and entertainment complexes in the world.
* GROUNDBREAKING: November 19, 1972
* OPENING DAY: October 10, 1976 -- Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (NFL), sold-out crowd of 76,042 saw Dallas win 24-14.
* CAPACITY: 78,741 (football); 55,000 - 60,000 (concerts)
* SPECIFICATIONS: 756 feet (length) x 592 feet (width) x 144 feet (height)
13,500 tons of structural steel and 29,200 cubic yards of poured concrete
* ROOF TYPE: Open
* COST: $75 million
* SITE OCCUPIED: 20.25 acres
* PARKING: 25,000 spaces
* PLAYING SURFACE: Astroturf
* MANAGED BY: New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
* SUITES: 72 (Mezzanine Level), 70 suites seat 16, 2 suites seat 10
* CONCESSIONAIRE: ARAMARK STANDS: 40 CARTS: 70
* RESTAURANT: STADIUM CLUB: -- Located on ground floor. Serves as private club for football games. Leased for trade shows, luncheons, meetings, etc. Dining room and bar, 14,540 sq. ft. Capacity is 2,000.
* PRESS BOX: On 50-yard line, upper press box has 300 working stations. Adjoining lounge and dining room seats 125. Lower level has 16 individual booths for TV and radio broadcasters, cameras, coaches, scoreboard operator, public address announcer, etc.
* FIELD LIGHTING: 576 metal halide lamps, 1,500 watts
Vertical Illumination -- 185 footcandles on end zone, 400 on midfield
Horizontal Illumination -- 150 footcandles on end zone, 50 on midfield
* VIDEO BOARDS: Two Sony Jumbotron color video scoreboards in each endzone of the Stadium. The scoreboards measure 32 x 24 feet and are supported by two Daktronics Matrix black and white scoreboards plus four auxiliary scoreboards.
* PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM: The system has over 27,000 audio watts. There are 2,100 speakers in the entire system fed by more than 47 miles of cable.
* RESTROOMS: Men -- 35; Women -- 35
* TICKET WINDOWS: 50
* TURNSTILES: 80
* PAST TENANTS: Cosmos, North American Soccer League, 1977-1984
New Jersey Generals, United States Football League, 1983-1985
New York/New Jersey Knights, World League of American Football, 1991-1992
* ATTENDANCE RECORD: 82,948 -- Oct. 5, 1995; Pope John Paul II celebrates mass at Giants Stadium.
Giants Stadium - Meadowlands Sports Complex
Giants Stadium (77,716 capacity) is recognized as one of the premier
venues in the country and it, along with Continental Airlines Arena and Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J., comprise the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Each year, over seven million patrons enjoy more than 800 events at the Meadowlands, making it one of the most successful sports and entertainment complexes in the world.
Both the New York Giants and the New York Jets of the National Football
League play at Giants Stadium, making it the only stadium in the country to house two NFL teams. The Giants have sold out every game they have played at Giants Stadium. A third franchise -- the New York/New Jersey MetroStars of Major League Soccer played their inaugural season in 1996.
The Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, and the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football have also called Giants Stadium home.
Giants Stadium hosted seven soccer games including a semifinal for World Cup 1994. The Stadium was the only venue of nine sites utilized to sell out all of
its games and to realize a seven-figure profit ($1.8 million).
Giants Stadium is the home of the Kickoff Classic, the traditional
first game of the college football season, and the Whitney Young Memorial Classic featuring Grambling State University. The Stadium has hosted three Army-Navy football classics (1989, 1993, 1997) and many Rutgers University games.
Giants Stadium is a leading concert facility attracting top musical acts including Bruce Springsteen, U2, Genesis, Billy Joel, the Rolling Stones and the
Grateful Dead. In 1994, Giants Stadium had a record-breaking concert summer. The Stadium held 15 sold-out concerts, attracting 836,631 fans and $37,513,931 in gross ticket sales -- all industry records.
On October 5, 1995, Pope John Paul II celebrated mass at Giants Stadium before a record crowd of 82,948. Giants Stadium also served as the site for closing
ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty centennial celebration in 1986.
The 800 events held annually at the Complex generate some $950 million
in economic activity in the region, support tens of thousands of jobs, and provide tens of millions of dollars of direct revenue to the state.
The Complexs three facilities were constructed on a 750-acre site at a cost of $450 million. The project was financed entirely by money raised through the sale of bonds issued by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA). No taxpayer money was used in the construction of the facility.
The NJSEA was created by the New Jersey legislature in 1971 and is the
governing body which oversees the operations of Continental Airlines Arena, Giants Stadium, Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J. At the states bequest, it constructed the State Aquarium at Camden, N.J., and is building the Atlantic City Convention Center. The Authority also oversaw a $29 million project to renovate and expand Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway, N.J.
Grass at the Meadowlands!
September 30, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
Football will be played on grass next year at the Meadowlands. The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority along with the Jets and Giants have agreed to replace the artificial turf with real grass for the 2000 season. The grass will be installed in trays and maintained by an underground maintenance system. The $3 million change at Giants Stadium is expected to especially please the MLS MetroStars who prefer natural grass. The Authority will pay the estimated $500,000 in annual maintenance. The parties are still negotiating who will pay the cost of installation.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
September 17, 2000 - Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands complex is a typical 70s football stadium, and now serves as the home of the Giants, Jets, and the MLS Metrostars. Getting to the stadium is easy, as the complex is served by numerous expressways and the traffic pattern is somewhat easy to navigate. Parking is abundant and tailgating is evident everywhere, except that the Meadowlands is pretty much built in the middle of a swamp so the ambience of this venue is not the greatest.
|Giants Stadium Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 7|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 6|
|Bonus: Tailgate Scene|| 2|
|Bonus: Fireman Ed (J-E-T-S Guy)|| 2|
|Bonus: Topless Chick|| 1|
|Total Score|| 50.5|
The stadium operators do their best to transform this venue from the Giants to the Jets by changing the astroturf color in the endzone, wall padding, etc. But make no mistake - the seats are done in Giants blue and red and this is the home of the New Yotk Giants, making the Jets the second tenant. Nevertheless the Jets pretty much sell out all their games, and on this day it was no different. The Giants also sell out all their games, in fact, they are sold out on a season ticket basis, but once their team is out of contention, the fans pretty much stay home, and this was evident on this day as roughly 15-20,000 empty seats greeted the teams when they took the field.
Inside Giants Stadium
Tight, tight concourses with concession stands and vending carts obstructing everything. Navigating this building can be a chore. The only thing high tech about this stadium are streaming sports tickers at several points in the concourses. New jumbotrons recently installed in each end zone provide superior clarity and viewing.
One of the notable things in each corner of the stadium just inside the entrance is a changable mural hanging high above the alcove. This mural depicts Jets players and can change to show Giants players depending who is on the field that day.
There are indoor skyboxes located high above the seating bowl on one side of the stadium, and they are served by their own private entrance and elevator. Interestingly, the 200 level is well configured to be a premium club level, but no amenities exist to make this a true club such as those that exist in peer facilities.
Ample points of sale, and the local specialty "knishes", stand out among the usual ballpark dreck. In each corner one can find specialty stands featuring italian sausages and cheese steaks.
Weeb Ewbank and Joe Namath have their names proudly displayed along the field level wall. These banners disappear when the building is converted for Giants use. The Giants have a long and storied history, with many notables enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Darned if you'd know that from looking around this place, since there are no retired numbers, ring of fame, memorabilia etc. to commemorate the great players and accomplishments.
Touchdowns, Extra Points, Fumbles
Touchdown - For Jets games, the signature chant here is "J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!" A fan in the end zone first row gets it started and they even show him on the video board. Kinda cool!
Extra Point - For the Jets game we sat in the upper deck kind of high, and we were "entertained" by a girl who danced topless pretty much the whole second half. Of course, the louts sitting around here egged her on to do more. No security. No ushers. Not a place to bring the kids!
Fumble - Jets fans - These fans are a%#holes, and we are being kind. We wore Bills colors, and were stopped on a couple occasions in the corridors by Jets fans spewing profanities. We could never imagine behaving like that to visitors who come to Buffalo to cheer for their teams. Thanks for all the LOVE, New York!
Touchdown (or should we say, SACK) - On our second visit, we got to witness Giants DE Michael Strahan set the all time season sack record when he "nailed" Brett Favre in the closing minutes of the game. Add the thousands who left early among those who never showed, and believe us when we say the stadium was 2/3 empty when this all happened.
Extra Point - Restrooms here aren't labeled "Men and Women", but rather "Gentlemen and Ladies". And of course, all New York fans are real "gentlemen", RIGHT?
Fumble - With the turn of the New Year, the karma of the Ultimate Sports Road Trip came to an end as the Packers took an early lead and never looked back, upending the Giants by a 34-25 score, thus ending the home team streak at 14 games.
All this wealth, all the corporations, when is New York gonna build themselves a state of the art stadium?! This place is "OK", but nothing, and we mean NOTHING, special to write home about. We squeeze out a 3 star rating here, but that is really being a tad generous. If you are looking for a great NFL experience, we would recommend other venues. Heck, a Jets game at Shea or a Giants game at Yankee Stadium would probably be a cooler football experience!
MEADOWLANDS GENERATED $600 MILLION FOR STATE
April 29, 2010
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures
East Rutherford, N.J. - The Meadowlands Sports Complex has produced nearly $600 million in
revenues for the state's general treasury and for East Rutherford since the complex opened in 1976, according to figures provided to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
The results of the analysis - which factors in sales and income tax generated from events, tickets, concessions and employment - was announced after a state Senate hearing revealed that the sports authority has outstanding debt of $830 million, with nearly a billion dollars committed to being repaid by taxpayers until 2025, when the last bonds are retired.
About $287 million of the $830 million in debt is allocated to the sports complex, but another $348 million of the debt results from construction of the Atlantic City Convention Center and the renovation of historic Boardwalk Hall. Nearly $100 million more in debt comes from building the Wildwood Convention Center and from athletic facility upgrades at Rutgers and Seton Hall universities.
The state bought Monmouth Park in 1985 for $43 million, with the sports authority then managing it. The analysis found that the racetrack has generated $64 million in state tax revenues during the past 25 years.
The 2009 total of tax receipts generated from the sports complex and from Monmouth Park generated an estimated $31 million in tax receipts last year, according to the report.
Carl Goldberg, the sports authority chairman, said the just-opened new Meadowlands football stadium "will dramatically increase" that number. The Giants and Jets are selling thousands of premium club seats that cost as much as $700 per game - all taxable - about a seven-fold increase from Giants Stadium. And six-figure luxury suites at Giants Stadium also will be superseded by nearly seven-figure suites at the new facility - and an expected significant increase in taxable concessions.
But because the teams paid to build the new stadium, they also will now keep the operating income - which will lead to almost a $15 million annual decline in the sports authority's bottom line. The agency recently submitted a revised budget to the state Treasury that erases a $31 million total deficit by asking the state to allow the sports authority to retain half of the estimated $62 million in tax revenues generated by the new stadium.