Commentary

New digs open with a few glitches

Fans find some issues in new football palace, but Giants and Jets players love it

Updated: August 19, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jim Miller and his 11-year-old son, James, were leaning over the fence behind the New York Jets' bench, telling Braylon Edwards how much the team needed Darrelle Revis, and Edwards was talking back.

"At least we have you!" the boy said, and Edwards smiled.

The home team fans will have crazy access to their favorite players, but the opening of the New Meadowlands Stadium wasn't without its problems. Jim Miller got to his expensive seat only to find the stitching was coming apart. It will have to be fixed before the next event.

"My seat fell apart," Miller said. "But that stuff is expected in a construction project, and this is still a construction project."

The public address system went down in the stadium for nearly a quarter. A fire alarm rang through all the corridors and indoor seating areas during the first half. It turned out to be false, but with no PA, the announcement of a false alarm was done quietly on the scoreboard.

In some areas of the building, cell phone service was spotty and wireless was in and out. Event parking hours before game time was congested and staff had difficulty directing those attending the game.

Just a few glitches.

None of the players on the field noticed many of those problems. For them the locker rooms were plush and the wood was polished. Even the X-ray room passed its first test when New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning had his head examined after a gash that required stitches.

"The newness of everything brought about a new energy, even for all of us that have been here for a little while," Giants center Shaun O'Hara said. "It was like the first day of school all over again: Everybody's looking for their home room and their first- and second-period class."

It's all about perspective. The stadium made it through the first preseason game. Only 19 more games to go. And for Jets fan Tara Scarpelli of Staten Island, anything is better than Giants Stadium.

"I didn't want to go there anymore," she said.

Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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