Season ticket holders were allowed to preview the stadium and our seats yesterday. I went with my wife, one daughter and a friend that goes to all the games. All that pops into my head is the word UNIMPRESSIVE.
Everything is grey. The outside is grey, the floors are grey, the escalators are grey, the paint everywhere is grey, the signs are grey, the bathrooms are grey, the barriers are grey and every seat is grey. If the turf wasn’t green, you’d think you warped to a B&W world. Talk about leaving you in a grey mood!
My wife took pictures and my daughter posted them. I’m not sure if you can see them all but here’s the link to the album - http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/album.php?aid=58918&id=1374146934&ref=mf . The first picture is the old stadium in the process of being torn down. I’ll look to add them someplace else if they can’t be viewed via Facebook.
The first annoyance I noticed was the escalators. In the old stadium there was a set for each of the 3 levels and you only needed to take 1 escalator. I’m not sure who thought up the escalators in the new stadium, but they are all shared. and if you are on the top level, you need to get on 3 different escalators and walk between each. Everyone going to the 1st, 2nd or 3rd tiers uses the same escalator to start. Imagine when the game lets out and there’s 60k people all trying to get onto 2 narrow escalators at each gate? Unlike a normal multi-tiered facility with the next up escalator right next to the one you got off, this design has them stacked on top of each other so when you get off, you need to then walk back to the next level escalator and get on that one. Obviously this was designed by someone who will never attend a game/event at the stadium.
A real hazard though are the railings at the front of the 3rd level. They are way too low. I can sit on the railing at the edge of the top level if I wanted to. Who will take a bet that a drunk Jets fan will be the first to fall over from the 3rd to 2nd level? The folks from the stadium that were there yesterday said everyone is saying the same thing and they imagine they will have to do something to address it.
The stadium was also very cold and windy. I won’t go into the fact that for a bazillion dollars these idiots didn’t make it a dome stadium but man is it going to be cold. You can tell from the pics that yesterday was a beautiful sunny day out and it was cold in there. There was a breeze, like there always is around the meadowlands area, but it was whipping inside. The sides of the stadium are completely open and on the lower levels, it’s wide open by each gate. Unless the goal was to make this the windiest stadium in the league, whoever designed this obviously didn’t take the wind into consideration. It wasn’t windy in our seats, but it sure was walking around and even being in the seats that are near any of the gates.
When I go to a game, it’s about being in my seat and watching the game. It’s not about the bazillion TVs they have outside in the hallways or the fried clams (yes, that’s on one of the signs) at the concessions. I’m sure folks care about that, but not the real football fans. They care about the experience of watching the game. Our seats are nearly the exact seats we had in the old stadium, but the view is now different. The 3rd level is higher up and farther back off the field. I’d still want the seats I have as it is how I’ve watched football games since 1976, but I’d like to be the same distance away as I was before. The reason it is higher and farther away “in the same seats” is they made the middle tier much larger in the new stadium as well as minimal overlap between the levels. The 2nd level of the old stadium was almost completely overlapped by the 3rd level but that isn’t how the new stadium is. So I’ll use my binoculars a bit more when they are on the other end of the field, but I’ll be at the game and as long as they win, I’ll have a good time.
UNIMPRESSIVE is all I keep thinking. When they show the new stadium on TV for the the home opener, they will show the luxury boxes, the various private “clubs” you can join and how posh they are. But for the 60k true fans that are there to root for their team to win, well they’d be more then happy to be doing that in the old stadium, in their old seats, with all the Personal Seat License money still in their bank accounts. What an unimpressive failure.