Sunday’s Jets romp over Kansas City was the last Jets home game I will be filming at for my documentary. Since August 2008, I have attended as many home games as I could to to tell countless fan stories. Some long time season ticket holders watch the games from home while others still attend with fewer friends beside them. There have been a few season ticket holders I have talked to who have passed away, leaving voids amongst friends and family at the games.
This last game I ventured over to the Izod Center and the non PSL parking. I had not heard any perspective from those ticket holders yet and I needed to. It seemed the consensus was the same from everyone I talked to.
Many non PSL holders seem to prefer parking over by the Izod. They say it is easier to park and one does not have to wait on long lines to leave the lots. There is easy access to any main roadway where ever you are going. One can find a great spot for tailgating with plenty of space and not be disturbed.
Many say the walk over to the stadium takes about 15-20 minutes. No one seems to mind the walk. They would rather have that walk over rather than park close and fight others just to get out of the parking lot. The non PSL lots do fill up closer to kick off as many single game ticket holders park over there. It seems the more casual fan can find a good spot amongst the tailgaters but may have to arrive early depending on who the Jets are facing.
Even though there is a little walk, some PSL holders will park in the non PSL section. Why? To be able to tailgate with friends. They prefer to keep their tailgate group together rather than break it up because the Jets say they can not park together.
Funny thing about some of these non PSL parking permits. Some are paying $15 per game where others are paying $20 per game to park there. I head different stories from several on different prices. I believe the PSL holders who chose to park there pay the higher rate where the non PSL holders pay a lower ate. I find that quite interesting.
It just seems no matter where season ticket holders park, there will always be mixed feelings on the situation. There are pros and cons with everything. But the bottom line here is everyone has at least one negative comment to say about the organization. I have yet to meet one person that will say everything positive.
For many years, there was always one constant when it came to tailgating. That constant were the Jet Nuts. You could always tell where they were by their bus in the bus parking lot. When I talked with Steve and the guys last season, they were not sure if they were coming back for the 2011 season. As it turned out, they didn’t. The costs did not warrant them to come back with the bus. They came back in a small group and did casual tailgating, but that was it.
Steve and the guys were putting out more than they were seeing. When you take that into account with others not purchasing a PSL or any type of season ticket there was less money to rely on. Like other tailgating groups, they saw a decline in numbers that made it harder to keep a long standing group together. The Jet Nuts had been together as a group since Shea Stadium. But when an organization decides to make a change, it does not always benefit everyone.
I will be visiting with Steve and some of the other Jet Nuts before the Eagles game this Sunday. I am sure the Nuts will have a lot to say about past and current tailgating affairs. I already know their famed bus will not be there. Steve sold the bus to a Jets group in Virginia. So without the bus, a true era for the Jet Nuts has ended.
As more time passes, the long standing committed Jets season ticket holder seems to be fading out of the tailgating scene. Being replaced by a younger, rowdier, eager to spend season ticket holder.
The make up has changed at Jets games. The veteran fans see it. They see less of their friends and fresher faces around. The changing of the guard has happened. The Jets have officially lost a seasoned, dedicated group that stuck with them for 40 years for a contingent that seems to care more about spending and status.
If you do not believe me, check out Twitter and Facebook.