This is a live shot of the Destruction of the press box section of the New York Jets and New York Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands East rutherford, New Jersey.
It seems the closer it gets to the 2010 season the more the Jets do to lose their trusted fan base. I am reading articles on NJ.com, Newsday, The Jets Report, ESPNNewYork.com, and so many other websites. Woody Johnson promises all PSLs will be sold by the home opener. Fans outraged by not just parking prices, but a hierarchy in parking as well. Ben Gray, a 20-year season ticket holder of the team, reached his breaking point this week when he learned that the hierarchy in PSL class will be busting up his tailgate party.
As Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger explains it, “Gray and his friends have been tailgating in lot 13-B for years. Just like The Jets Pack, Sal & Carmine, Frank Conway, & others do in other sections around the stadium. And as anyone who regularly attends NFL or college football games knows, the tailgating can even become bigger than the game itself, with carefully crafted menus and a unique brand of human bonding. But because some of Gray’s friends didn’t buy PSLs, they can’t park in lot 13-B, which is reserved for those who paid for the right to pay for their tickets.
“We just feel like we’ve been taken to the woodshed again and again,” Gray said. “Going to a football game should be something you enjoy, but these guys just see dollars.”
But for Gray, his upgraded experience includes breaking up the group with which he had spent years tailgating. And it’s possible that Gray has had enough.
“This was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Gray said. “I keep wondering, ‘How are they going to get us next?'”
Muke Florio of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com reports:
“Though the Jets have a plausible explanation, fans who have a Rain Man-style obsession with their game-day routines don’t care about “plausible.” They want things to stay the way they were.
“For those people who committed to the PSLs and the luxury suites, we want to do whatever we can to provide a much better experience,” Jets executive vice president for stadium development Thad Sheely told Politi. “I don’t see it as a restriction,” Sheely said. “I see it as an upgraded experience for people who have paid for an upgraded experience.”
They consider it an upgraded experience. Many consider it robbery. I would love to know if any of the New York Jets employees personal family or friends have thought about opting into the PSLs. Did the Jets employees try to use the corporate rhetoric on them to get them to purchase them or were they sympathetic if there were cost issues? If they talked their family or friends into it then they should be ashamed to even be a business. Thad Sheely is a paid employee of the Jets so of course he would defend the PSLs and those who bought them. Get him alone away from the press and see if he changes his answer, as long as none of the Jets Management is around.
I know the Jets want everyone to think the more you pay, the more benefits you get. But when does the New York jets Country Club stop basing membership on how much money someone should spend? Do they only want those who will spend or those or just want tow atch a football game then leave? They can not have it both ways. They have turned off so many fans and have attracted so much bad press how much damage control can they do? If prices keep going up and get too costly, who will afford to keep going? Do they really expect their long time blue collar fan base or families to keep going to their games? This season, take a good look at who will be sitting in those PSL seats. You will see a younger crowd, less families, and those who made out on Wall Street while others lost their jobs or house. The Jets do not care about those fans, just the paying ones. They know even those at home will still buy merchandise.
The New York Jets are a private company and do not have to tell anyone how many PSLs are left. All they want to do is sell every one, have sold one games, and make a profit every time. That is it. They can say they are sympathetic to the fans and want to give those who paid an upgraded experience. Look at the NFL Draft Day party they had there. If that is any indication of how they treat their loyal paying fans then the PSL holders are the only ones they care about. The non PSL holders to them are basic peasants. Charging $9 beers while Giants PSL and non PSL holders get everything for free. It shows the New York Jets do not care about the non PSL paying fans, only their checkbook. I am sure if they wanted to upgrade to a PSL seat then they would care.
I know I am ranting here but it gets me angry to see loyal fans for so many years get shafted only because they do not want to pay for a PSL. It is like gambling at a casino. The casino takes care of their high rollers while everyone else gets a free drink while they play. But if the average Joe spends more and made more from them, then he gets taken care of. They only care about the dollar coming in and keeping you there to spend hat you have. Just like the new Meadowlands Stadium. The Jets organization have better spin doctors working for them than the government. They will try to make any bad situation into a good one just to sell seats. But the fans know better.
I have had some in the Jets organization ask me to change the title of my documentary, “Gang Greed”. They think I will paint them in a bad light. I do not have to do any of that. They create their own press and how much of it has been good for the Jets? Not much. Even Fireman Ed quoted that term when talking about the Jets organization. They write their own story. If they wanted to be seen is a positive light then they are the ones who need to change their image. Change it with the fans and understand they are the ones who support them, not sponsors or celebrities. The gang is greedy and how much is enough? Only time will tell.
I hope Woody Johnson is proud of what he did to a loyal fan base who stood by the team for over 45 years. At least Leon Hess had Hess oil as an advertiser and supported the fans. I never saw a Johnson & Johnson ad or sponsorship for the Jets. Maybe he should come out of his box once in a while and sit where they loyal fans are to really get to know what the fans want. Not just walk around the parking lot during tailgating for a photo op to show fans that “he cares”. Even in Rich Cimini’s interview he skirted around the PSL issue. He knows they are in trouble and does not want to admit it. Not a good poker face Woody.
I think that is enough for tonight. The more that comes out the more I will have to say about this issue. I am glad more fans are coming out and talking about their issues with the Jets. We will not go quietly into the night. More fans need to speak up about this. Show you have a voice that will not be silenced. The Jets will say the PSLs were a great idea, fans are on board, the economy is not affecting the sales(which they later detracted), and whatever it takes to get them sold. I will finish with this. In September of 2008, Woody Johnson was quoted by News 12 New jersey that if the Jets charged more for the PSLs, the fans would pay it. I hope he likes how his foot tastes. Here is what remains of the Jets former home.
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Made it over to Giants Stadium everyday so far since Sunday. Things are really happening fast over there. Complete sections coming down in a few days rather than a week. Now that they have the area cleared around the new stadium the destruction is moving along. A complete section with the NJ Lottery, Budweiser, and Verizon ads came down that included the large video screen. When I went yesterday in the fog and rain it looked like a war zone. What I mean is, in that bad weather it looks worse than it does. Feel even worse for the workers out there in that mess. Hope the pay is worth it to those who have to work in those elements.
Today though was a much better day. Sun shining, comfortable out, and getting a birds eye view above the destruction zone. I start off in my usual place by Gate A and D. I head over to the other side when everyone was taking their lunch. I park, over to the area where you can see in inside and start to snap some shots. I then hear a voice behind me say “I am about to make your day”. I spin around not knowing who was behind me or what was going to happen. My mind was thinking 100 situations at once. Next thing i know one of the construction workers hands me a hard hat, harness, and takes me up in one of the crane lifts.
I do not want to give away his name. Not looking to put someone’s job in jeopardy. It was a great opportunity to be there at the right moment like that. This worker, let’s call him Brian, was gracious enough to get me in position to get some of the best pictures I have taken there. The ones that show the inside bowl, the former playing surface. I did not take any tours there or attend any events so far where one could easily take pictures from the new stadium. This really was my only opportunity. If an opportunity is presented, do not hesitate. The minute you think about it too long is the minute you can lose that opportunity.
Read reports today the Jets still have about 10,000 PSL’s left to sell. Woody Johnson will not confirm that number but others rumor it to be there. First time Jets home games could be blacked out since 1977. O a, sure Woody can go into his collection of phone numbers and call some friends. I mean, it is Woody’s Clubhouse. I read a fan’s account of the Jets Draft Day party and was surprised by the Jets attitude towards their fans. He has no right to force fans to buy PSL’s and threaten blackouts of games. You are the one who put the fans into this mess and you should be the one to get them out. Better yet, dig into your own pockets to cover the fans. I am sure you can do it several times over.
Do the Jets hate their fans more than any other team? It is seeming like that. I really hate to say it. We are Jets fans but they make it hard for us to cheer them. I always say I root for the team, not always the organization that owns them. Tough to do these days. The PSL situation should be investigated. For now I look at the remains of an era, gone but not forgotten. An era where the focus was on the field, the players, the game. Not the new Country Club, VIP’s, the owner, & the mistreating of it’s fans. The team was followed first and foremost by the blue collar worker. The only blue collars affording the best seats are worn under suit jackets and ties.
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The past week has been kind of a blur. I mean a lot has happened and it all went by so fast. Let me start with last Thursday. I had the opportunity to have Matt Nackson work with me on an interview. I met Matt through Twitter (@MattNack) as he is a recent film school graduate and wanted to help me in filming my documentary. He had the opportunity to use his Cannon t2i as we interviewed Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone of Bayonne. Assemblyman Chiappone is also running for Mayor of Bayonne. The Assemblyman along with two other Assemblyman are sponsoring a bill before the NJ Legislature which is a “Personal Set Holder’s Bill of Rights”. The Bill comes at a time when the teams are already willing to make deals and other concessions to fans.
Saturday night was my first time seeing an indoor football game. I was at Mennen Arena in Morristown to see the New Jersey Revolution face the Reading Express. I was there to film the game and the NJ Revolutions. I acted as their “NFL Films” or “Hard Knocks” for the day. I want to show there are alternatives to the NFL. It may not be at the same peak level, but there are alternatives where the guys play just as hard. Rob Tester who is GM and majority owner of the NJ Revs has bent over backwards to have me there. I want to thank Rob and everyone at the Revs for their time and hospitality. Rob, Coach Al, Coach Chris, the team, the Rev It Up Girls, all practice hard and give the crowd what they came to see,great football action & fun family entertainment.
For the first time I was filming a football event and had to cover the entire game from so many locations. I stood in the stands, with the players, the opposing team, the cheerleaders, and anywhere else I thought I could get a prime shot. My boom operator Sixto was right behind me as johnny on the spot and was a great help. Covered them in the locker room meetings, practice, and the coaches reactions. Ton of F bombs were dropped so I guess it will be rated R for language. Definitely need a second cameraman there. Too much to cover and could use some reverse angles the next game. This is the still I am learning as I go, but it is fun learning. Will be going back on May 29th so now I know what to look for.
I will have more about the NJ Revolution in future posts. I see potential there. A lot of the players have a ton of passion and heart. A few of them can go to the UFL or a NFL tryout. Past couple of days I went over the Giants Stadium. Went to my usual spots and took pictures. Sunday was a perfect day to go, Mother’s Day, no one was there. Between today and yesterday a new section has been ripped into the side and part of the Spirals at Gate A are gone. Most of the concrete from the inside has been removed to leave a shell to tear down. Matt Nackson came with me after interviewing Assemblyman Chiappone last Thursday to take pictures. Felt good to have someone along for the ride.
Had a security guard stop me over b y Gate A today. HE recognized me from last Thursday and called one of the offices. Told me to go to the security trailer to get permission to take pictures. Even though I knew it was a waste of time I went as he was only doing his job. A worker in the trailer he sent me too said not to worry. Even the worker takes pictures inside and had no issues with me. Different would we live in today. But it is not like I am going to blow up the old stadium. Already done. Just a matter of time before the land is all one big parking lot. Just another faded memory for some.
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What a week it has been over at Giants Stadium. Seems every 4-5 days a major section comes down. When I was there last week, the 2nd in the four spirals was to come down. I was told it was going to be done either today or tomorrow. I ask today about it and I was told it would be done once the stadium was down completely. I think the Skanska guys know more than they let on. I was then told by an associate at the NY Post that they signed forms not to talk about it to the press. Well, since I am not the press I have been able to get small amounts of information.
As it turns out there are many crews working in so many areas. A few guys got to NJ yesterday from Chicago to work on the old stadium. The spirals from what I was told could come down anytime and plans change. One of the workers informed me they mainly bring down the huge sections after 5 PM. The wrecking ball drops through the sections where the seats were to get rid of the concrete. They then knock it down inward into the old stadium. They then clear it all just to do it again. I am hoping to get shots of them tearing down sections or spirals.
Last Friday, the construction foreman told me he wished he could get me into the new stadium high enough to get some overhead shots. He then told me to wait and see if he could get me closer but did not return. I do the best I can given the parameters around the old stadium. One of the crew that is working on the parking lots informed me that the seats from the stadium are being destroyed. Seems only very few were saved for sale. The rest were left in the stadium and either destroyed or dumped into garbage bins. He let me know that they cut out sections shaped like a “V” in the back of each seat so no one could take a seat or sell it. Not air if you ask me.
I was there for about two hours today. Walking around and surrounded by cranes, dump trucks, wrecking balls, and other equipment I should have a hard hat for. Seems many come by to take pictures, but I am the only one documentating its fall. One of the crew asked if I wanted a rock. I asked for a seat instead. Didn’t get it, obviously. These guys are working 12-14 hour days just to get this thing down. Can tell some do not care about what info they talk about. To them this is just another job. Below are pictures taken over the past week. You will be able to see the changes by the old Gate A that have happened.
The new stadium plays host to a soccer game this Friday night. Kiosk workers and others were going through orientation and training tonight. Also, more Jets fans were visiting to check their seats out. Construction crews were finishing up away from the new stadium. I did not get any shots when I went back over. Camera issues. But I will be back and hopefully get those shots. Only so many places to stand and snap pictures anyway. Not many good angles.
Thursday I will be sitting down with Bayonne Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone. The Assemblyman and some colleagues are behind a Bill that would provide a PSL holder a “Bill of Rights”. Hoping to give PSL holders more options than the team will allow. After that, it is off to Mennen Arena in Morristown, NJ for the New Jersey Revolutions practice. The New Jersey Revolution of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) will face the Reading Revolution on Saturday May, 8th at 7PM. At least I will be getting some football footage for the documentary.
Funny note. As I was headed to Giants Stadium today, 101.9 WRXP played John Cougar Meloncamp’s “And The Walls, Came Tumbling Down”.
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Taken April 28
Taken April 30
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Yesterday was one hell of a day to go over to Giants Stadium. I get over there nice and early to see they are making significant progress. Now they are close to removing a second spiral close to the new Stadium side. Moving faster than expected according to some workers. It was weird getting close up and seeing right through the structure at certain points. Big thanks to one of the crew for giving me a lift in his truck to snap some better pictures. Sounds funny, I know.
As you can see, the are removing certain sections at a time. From the inside out, it crumbles down little by little. Gutted out the way a piranha finishes off its prey. As a group they go inside the carcass. Take out small piece by small piece, leaving behind a cleaned out shell leaving behind the bones. The stadium that was gutted, now has only its metal and cement structure to support it as it comes down.
I have been reading fans reactions and experiences to last nights New York Jets Draft day party at the new Stadium. I find it interesting so many love having so many choices on where to eat, sit, drink, relax, use the restroom, etc that the game is the reason you should be there. This is where football goes form sports to entertainment. All they are missing is Woody standing outside the big top and barking at the fans to step inside and enjoy the show.
Do not get me wrong. Everyone knows how much I enjoyed Giants Stadium. But having a stadium that is “up to date” is also a huge plus to any sports fan. More decisions that your typical concession stand. Just an overwhelming experience for the senses. I know I will attend games there at some point and experience the place for myself. I will be amazed like everyone else, but thoughts of what stood next door will just be there to remember.
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Good morning again all. Yesterday I set out to Giants Stadium once again. Now, I did not know what to expect when I got there. I started as I always do in Lot B. The one that faces Route 3 and the Giants practice facility. I snapped some pictures from that side and saw there was not much that had changed. The minute I got to the side that faces 120, WOW! There was not a small hole in it like last week, but a large gaping hole that is about 12% of the stadium’s facade. You can see everything now. Where the seats were, where you would walk along the inside, as well as right through the box seat windows.
I drove around on some roads I know I should not have been on, but did anyway. All the press and media seem to cover is the new stadium and al its bells and whistles. What about the old one so many memories still remain? It is coming down right next to it and no one seems to care. Texas Stadium had one last tailgate for their fans to show appreciation. Did the New York Jets, Giants, or even the NJSEA offer that to the faithful Meadowlands Minions who came to the stadium every Sunday? No, they didn’t. Fact is all the attention is going to the new facility while the one just sits there waiting for its demise. Pretty sad if you ask me. I go back every week because I want everyone to remember what a great stadium it was. It was the stadium for the fans. The new one is more for friends of the teams, corporate groups, business partners, corporate sponsors, Woody’s friends, or anyone else with a disposable income.
I am not bitter, far from it. I just feel the true blue collar fans got the short end of the stick. If my father was alive, I would be taking him on every trip I make to the stadium. He would sit there, gaze over and bring up all the stories of us at the stadium. As I would be driving around looking for the perfect shot he would sit there smiling and laughing at our adventure together. I keep my father in the back of my mind to remind me why I do this. Everyone should see and know what is happening to the old stadium. I will have more pictures up tonight once I water mark them. Finally figured out how to do that. For now, enjoy and remember.
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What a great day today. Nice weather, sun shining, and being able to drive around the stadium and get some great pictures. I was able to borrow a better camera with a telephoto lens to snap some great shots. There are piles of debris at the base of every spiral. They are going to gut the whole stadium before tearing it down. My first pictures had bigger piles than the current shots. With less coming out the piles are smaller, obviously. Plus they have more dumpsters around to throw the crap into. They are also realigning all the parking areas at the same time. Through the one hole you can see directly inside the stadium & catch a glimpse of the seats.
I am sure in the next two weeks there will be a lot more to see. Since they are not demolishing it it will be interesting to see. I will have more pictures up in the next few days. Still trying to get used to handling this website and its upgrades. Every time I go back I expect to see more and more of it laying in the parking lot or in a dumpster. Everyone has a stadium that they hold dear to them. Yankees Stadium for some, Wrigley Field, Shea Stadium, Ebbets Field, or even the many incarnations of Madison Square Garden. To me, Giants Stadium is the place my father taught me football and made me a Gang Green fan. Never thought i would see the inside of the stadium from the parking lot.
I know I said I would have an update this past week and a little late. Between Passover and computer issues this was the earliest I could get on here. Not too much has happened over one week. One of the construction crew said the stadium will be down completely in the next month. Finishing gutting it before they work on the outer structure. Majority of all signs and flags are down. Just a shell of its former self. You can see some debris piles stacked by each gate. Not easy to get up close and find out. They have to do all that and still keep pace with finishing the new stadium plans on time.
Driving around it now I just keep looking at the areas I visited during tailgating. Whole new set-up will make everyone “usual” places all new ones. Occupying new facilities and locations will take some getting used to. Everyone wants to find prime tailgating space in the right spot for whatever their reason. You find your spot and it will take some getting used to. A game or two in and everyone will have it feeling like home again. By mid season everyone should be settled in and getting to know their new neighbors. By the end of the season you will wonder where this one went and how fast the next one will get here. Just to do it all over again.I hope they
There are a lot of Jets and Giants fans who will not see the stadium coming down. Many pass by it on the way to work and do not even give it a second thought. By the time it is down it will never look he same over there. Xanadu also screwed things up. A big hulking structure that is more of an eyesore than an eyesight. When I go over to take picture, I find myself wanting to open my trunk, pull out a grill, and pop a beer. It was the stadium I grew up in. I sat next to my father there for many years. Many thought of it as a second home for only 10-12 days throughout the year. An old home torn down for a new remodeled one.
I know a lot of people who would love to be able to walk around the inside of the old stadium before they tear it down. Such a long shot in the next month for security and safety reasons. But then again, the Jets and Giants organizations would never do something the fans truly wanted. The only way fans would be able to go tour the old stadium now is if they paid a hefty fee to the teams. The teams care more about what is coming into their pockets rather than what could be taken out of it. With PSL’s not really selling, I am sure they need to raise those funds any way they can. If they really listened to their base of ticket holders, neither organization would be in this predicament.
Looks like the Jets will get to host the stadium’s first game after all – in the preaseason. But Gang Green still has to share the stage with Big Blue.
The Giants and Jets have been preseason opponents for the last 41 years. When they meet this August it will be an extra-special preseason game. It’s the first football game being played at the new stadium in the Meadowlands the teams have built together.
Big Blue and Gang Green will kick off the NFL’s exhibition season on Monday, Aug. 16 with a nationally televised game on ESPN. It’s the Jets turn to be the home team this summer.
The series, which the Jets lead 22-18-1, has been played the next to last week of the preseason all but once since it began in 1969. The Jets have won the last three games, including a 27-25 victory last summer.
The NFL preseason schedule released yesterday matches the Giants against four AFC opponents — Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England and the Jets. Only the date of the Jets game is set. Games against the Steelers and Pats will be played in the still unnamed stadium built next to the old Giants Stadium. That means the Giants make only one preseason road trip — to Baltimore the weekend of Aug. 26-29. The Steelers game will be the weekend of Aug. 19-23, and the preseason finale with the Patriots Sept. 2-3.
The Jets will play at Carolina in the second week of the preseason, be at home against the Redskins the third week and finish at Philadelphia on Sept. 2. The dates and times for the games against the Panthers and Redskins and the time of the Eagles game will be announced at a later date. It will be the first time the Jets have played Carolina.
It will be the 42nd consecutive year the Jets have played the Giants in the preseason.
The first sporting event in the new stadium will be a lacrosse tripleheader — The Big City Classic — on Sat., April 10, with one of the games pitting Princeton against Syracuse. An international soccer match is scheduled their in June.
The Giants will play the first regular season game in the new Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 12. The Jets will open their regular season with the first Monday night game at the new stadium.
That decision caused some controversy, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell flipped a coin to determine which would play first at home. The Giants won the toss, but Jets owner Woody Johnson was upset that a representative of the team was not present when the coin was flipped.
Levy’s Bakery Productions was formed in August of 2008 before filming the documentary Gang Greed. Levy’s Bakery Productions is named after my grandparents bakery in Belmar, NJ. It stood on Avenue F but has been gone for decades.