SBD/Issue 155/Facilities & Venues

New Meadowlands Stadium To Remove Obstructed-View Seating

Architect Says Obstructed-View Seats
"Were Never Intended To Be Sold"

The New Meadowlands Stadium has 59 seats "where views of the gridiron are fully obscured," and others "have limited sightlines," according to Fanelli & Mushnick of the N.Y. POST. 360 Architecture Principal George Heinlein, who designed the stadium, said that the obstructed-view seats "were never intended to be sold." Each of the stadium's two end-zone mezzanine sections has "four pillars supporting the upper deck -- unsightly and archaic steel" structures -- and facility experts said that those are "routinely avoided in modern stadium design." Architect Peter Eisenman said, "I don't know why the columns are there. Those things are usually worked out when you're working on big projects like that. They didn't put (the columns) there because they wanted them there. I can tell you that." The Jets and Giants did not comment on the pillars, but Heinlein, "defended the columns, saying they were necessary to create seating that surrounds the field on all levels and is stacked as closely as possible to the game action." Heinlein said, "The objective of ownership ... was to create the most intimidating home-field advantage in football. Columns are not needed in other stadiums, which do not have the capacity or the proximity of end-zone seating" (N.Y. POST, 4/25). Giants VP/Communications Pat Hanlon yesterday on his Twitter feed wrote, "NYPost has a big front page exclusive today: new stadium has 60 obstructed view seats that were never to be sold & are being removed" (TWITTER.com, 4/25).

BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF US? The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Futterman & Kinkhabwala note after "several years of trying to get a divorce, the Giants and Jets have been forced back into an old partnership that has become as tense and uncomfortable as it is unique to the NFL." While an aura of "polite respect carries the day in public, behind the scenes the Jets, with their modern outlook, and the conservative Giants, who bear the weight of 85 years of history, have squabbled over everything from modern architecture to who should hire the ticket-takers." The feud between the teams "reached a peak this winter over the issue of which team would be granted the first home game in the new stadium." Giants President & CEO John Mara said that he told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that his team's "unwavering commitment to the Meadowlands made them a more worthy choice than the Jets, who had only entered the partnership by default." On the other hand, Jets Owner Woody Johnson "made his case by describing the Giants as yesterday's news." New Meadowlands Stadium Co. President & CEO Mark Lamping: "These teams have dramatically different personalities. We do everything we can to be Switzerland" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/26).

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