A review of PSL Stadium

PSL Stadium, aka the New Meadowlands, is a waste of $1.7 Billion dollars.

Giants Stadium worked well enough.  And I truly believe it was karma with the son going against his deceased father’s wishes when the Giants took a $301MM bath on an interest rate counterparty default (Lehman bankruptcy Sept 2008).

First, the parking.  Here is an excerpt from my friend, who treated me to the game:

“The ticket prices are higher.  And the egalitarian (or shall we say meritocracy of) parking has been replaced by a system of class distinction.  It used to be that the bigger a fan you were, the earlier you got to the stadium, the better your parking spot.  Now it is the more money you have, the better your parking spot.”

When the Giants were building the new facility, word was out that they were going to widen the concourse so that fans would no longer be stuck in ridiculous pedestrian congestion.  If there was anything that could be improved, this was it!  And yet the new stadium somehow manages to screw this up!  How?  Well, to be fair, the walkways were widened.  But in SOME areas they are not appreciably changed.  Since traffic is a function of its weakest link, the passageways at some points manages to get clogged again.  No, it is not as bad as the old stadium, but it could be a lot better.  The concession stands push out into the corridors and what could be a good aisle is no longer. 

For whatever reason, the designers had the concourse essentially dead-end for each quadrant.  On the first tier you cannot walk ‘around’ the stadium without being forced to go back down the escalators and then back up to the next quadrant.    

Back in the spring when the Stadium opened up to a minicamp practice, everyone complained about the gray seats.  I must have spent a bunch of time staring at the color gray, completely bewildered at how they could choose such a color.  Were green/white and blue/red ruled out, so that they mixed the four together and got gray?  The place looks like a garage.

A while back when we picked apart the PSLs for what they were, a Wellington transgression, we noted that the pricing was incorrect and that inefficiencies existed.  Old time season’s tickets holders who were in the ‘best’ seats in the old stadium were trading ’down’ in droves to get out of the ‘club.’  This past weekend, we noticed how there were literally entire sections in the second level of the new stadium that were almost completely empty.  This was reminiscent of the Yankees seats in their new palace that were empty behind home plate.  Some of the ‘best’ seats in the second tier of PSL were over-priced relative to their peers, and they have been avoided.

Since the Giants soaked the fans for plenty of PSL green, at least they could give them a place to take a leak.  The new facility has more restrooms and more urinals. (Addendum- after speaking to friends a month later who went to the regular season games and sat upstairs with the crush at halftime, the word is that the disaster of impossible bathroom lines is still with us, in spades!  How could they blow this one too???!)

Speaking of seats,  one thing you knew the Giants were going to do was add a another level of luxury boxes.  Nothing in life is free- the third tier is now so high up that they were selling oxygen masks and flights to Pittsburgh.

The food?  Well we are not fans of the ‘club’ seats, where you get fed for the price of Il Mulino.  Besides, as we asked aloud last year, isn’t tailgating and eating at your own bbq as big a part of the game as .. the game?!  Nevertheless, we had to try the new concession stands just to see what the food was like, and we were summarily unimpressed.  The quantity of concession stands increased, meaning lines were considerably less, but unfortunately what they delivered in quantity was not matched in quality.  My friend’s cheesesteak was “inedible” and I stopped eating my hotdog after three bites because it was undercooked.  Good thing the food was also overpriced!  But alas- there was GOOD NEWS about PSL Stadium- they have cup holders attached to the back of all seats, so there was a place to put your beer!  $1.7B for cup holders and a urinal to piss in

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