Two NFL games are scheduled to be played at the Meadowlands this weekend.
Neither game will be attended by the usual home crowds. Many Giant ticket holders are selling their ducats online to Patriot fans and other interested parties. The Jets are expecting many of their season-ticket holders to show up as empty seats.
As a follower of both clubs, I have mixed feelings about this. But, being a native, I can understand it.
The Giant Ticket Sell-off
Giant fans have not been treated to a high-caliber brand of football at home this season. Plus, they are tired of fighting the excessive traffic around the stadium these days, and the parking crunch once they arrive. The construction of the new stadium and a "Mall of America"-type facility (called Xanadu) has made the area nearly impossible to navigate, especially on game days. Fans are finding it frustrating.
As a result, many season ticket holders are bailing on as many games as possible—only attending the games they feel are important or start at 1 p.m. For the games they do not attend, the Giants have made it easier for fans to sell their tickets. The club recently opened a secondary ticket market right on the team's website called Ticket Exchange. This allows fans on the season ticket waiting list (currently over 55,000) to purchase tickets. Season ticket holders have taken advantage of this service this year, as well as Stub Hub and other services. They walk away with handsome profits most of the time, too.
The Giants-Patriots game has been on a lot fans' radar as a historic game the past month or so. Many Giant account holders are not impressed. They feel the team will either play poorly again (the Giants are 3-4 at home; 7-1 on the road) or rest key players because they have clinched the playoffs. They also loathe night games. The traffic will be nightmarish.
Online ticket sales are booming. One ticket holder said he sold his four seats for over $5000. Hard money to turn down, especially around the holidays.
Look for a lot of New England fans to be in attendance in East Rutherford on Saturday night. More power to them, they will have paid a lot to get there—both in time and in money.
Herman Edwards Returns
On Sunday, the reeling 4-11 Kansas City Chiefs, led by former Jets coach Herm Edwards, will be at the Meadowlands to face the sorry 3-12 Jets.
It is Herm's first visit back to New Jersey since he was "traded" to Kansas City for a 5th round draft pick. This game goes in the "Who cares?" category.
Jets fans are offering their tickets online for this game, too, but are finding few takers. They'd be lucky to give them away. Many foresee a half-empty stadium with only diehards in the stands.
But the half-time festivities on the spiral ramp out at Gate D will probably be in full swing. For those of you that are unaware, Gate D is where drunken male Jets fans goad young females into showing their breasts.
Nothing like a little high culture, huh?
I know I'm going to get a lot of flak from readers regarding the loyalty of the New York football fans for this article. Let me tell you this, before you judge. On game days, the average trip from midtown Manhattan to Giants Stadium takes 55-60 minutes. It's only 11 miles away—then you have to pay $20 to park 1-2 miles away from the stadium.