This is a "knowledgeable" group, "very discriminating" in their support." "When the team is doing well the cheers are deafening; when the team falters, the boos are not far behind." "The fans are VERY vocal with how they feel about the players and the team;" "they will not tolerate a half effort," not with an "entire stadium filled with season ticket-holders who pass their tickets down generations." While that fosters an atmosphere in which some have known their fellow ticket-holders "since my dad first brought me as a little kid," it also means "the crowd can skew old, which, in turn, makes it kind of quiet." And if you've "had season tickets since Christ was born," you, too, might "just want to watch the game" instead of "standing up and cheering the team on." That has left some of the Giants' newer generation of fans opining "the stadium would be a harder place for visiting teams to play if we had newer fans." Vociferous or not, there's little debate that "win or lose, Giants fans will sell the stadium out."
5 out of 10
FOOD & SOUVENIRS
Soda (20 oz.)
Beer (16 oz.)
Expected Meal Cost
Most feel there is "nothing notable" about the food options in Giants Stadium. Others aren't quite as charitable, describing the food as "horrible." In addition to the "places that offer hot dogs, knishes, popcorn, nachos and drinks, there are a couple of stands that offer grilled cheesesteaks and sausages, but they actually taste like a heart attack." That might be preferable to "the absolute worst thing: hot chocolate that is watered down and rarely exceeds 75 degrees." Assuming you don't find that "you're better off finding one of the fanatics in the parking lot who'll let you pay $10 for all you can eat and drink out of their Winnebago of Gluttony," some believe the "knishes are awesome," while "the bratwurst stand on the upper level is incredible." With all of the subpar food, it's a good thing the "Beers of the World stations are pretty cool."
4 out of 10
From the "sheer volume of cars" to the "drivers who think lane lines are suggestions" to the "confusing signage" that "can easily have you heading in the wrong direction if you're not careful," getting to and from Giants Stadium "is an exercise in stress management." "With multiple routes that can be taken," "if you leave early enough, driving to the Meadowlands is not a problem, although going over any of the bridges in NYC and sitting in traffic is beyond painful." "On the way in, the parking lot is full of police and security who direct traffic" "through poorly designed lots." A bad situation has become even worse this season with the loss of 5,000 spaces due to construction of a new stadium, scheduled to open in 2010. Those without season-parking passes have been re-routed to satellite lots two miles away, requiring a shuttle bus ride to the stadium. "Trying to get out is a nightmare." "Parking attendants who should be directing traffic just sit and watch," and "there are too few exits out of the parking lots." "Public transportation isn't easy, either." "Trains don't travel there," and a bus to and from New York City's Port Authority "is cheaper, but often gets stuck in the same traffic as the thousands of cars leaving the game."
2 out of 10
"Both sides of the extreme are represented here, from those who come with a standard grill" to "quite a few motorhomes, as well." "Every tailgate is professionally done; if you tailgate at Giants Stadium, you learned how to do it from your father." The menu is "diverse," ranging from "hamburgers and hot dogs" to "shrimp, lobster and steak." The scene is "rowdy but controlled." Sure, some "burn jerseys of the opposing team every week;" others, though, "drink, eat, toss the football around and give a little guff to opposing fans in a light-hearted manner." "New York attitudes cool off when you're tailgating," and it "starts off by 7 a.m. for a 1 p.m. game." "This year will be a challenge because the Xanadu sports complex" (a developing entertainment complex that will include a new stadium for the Giants and Jets to share) "will surely cut into the available tailgating scene." In addition to the loss of on-site parking spaces, a satellite lot has already been ruled off limits to tailgating.
7 out of 10
Plaxico Burress :: Nick Laham/Getty Images
Record through Week 9
Players Worth Watching
Plaxico Burress (WR), Eli Manning (QB), Osi Umenyiora (DE), Michael Strahan (DE)
8 out of 10
Giants Stadium "doesn't resemble a flying saucer or an upside-down soup bowl, but it is a classic design," a "pure football stadium" with nary "a bad seat in the house." Opened in 1976, "it's an older stadium, to be sure, but it definitely does its job." "The size and capacity [are] pluses," "and there are plenty of escalators and ramps to get up to the upper deck." Yes, the "walkways are too narrow," "you cannot see the game waiting in line at the concessions" and there are "too few bathrooms" at this somewhat "generic venue." But "in the winter, when the wind gets stuck inside the stadium and starts to swirl around," "it sometimes affects long passes and kicks," a reality Giants coaches quickly learn to use to their advantage. Home to two Super Bowl champions, "the [stadium's] nostalgia factor is high with a lot of fans." "And how many stadiums can boast having Jimmy Hoffa under six feet of concrete in the corner of one end zone?"
5 out of 10
"Most of north Jersey knows the Meadowlands are a tidal wetland; the rest of the country isn't far off calling it a swamp." More specifically, "the Meadowlands is a sports complex in the middle of a swamp." Oh, there is "a horse racing track and a basketball/hockey arenas across the parking lot," and some highways that will get you into New York City "about 10 miles away." Other than that, it's mostly ... swamp.
2 out of 10
Through its more than three decades of service, Giants Stadium has served as a good reflection of the team's ownership -- understated, yet effective. Neither will dazzle with grand gestures or outlandish statements or style. Both present football, plain and simple. Could both benefit from a little flash? In New York, it couldn't hurt. But both cater to their fan bases well, offering just enough performance to keep them coming back, despite all of the hassles inherent to the NYC region. While Wellington Mara's passing seems to have ushered in a new Giants hierarchy with little drama, fans can only hope the passing of Giants Stadium in 2010 for a new, $1.3 billion, shared facility with the Jets will transition as smoothly.