Together and with The Power of We, we can start a revolution. One Soul at a time... ~Jon Bon Jovi *** There's a Story on every street corner, my friend. All you have to do is open your eyes... ~Richie Sambora

New Meadowlands Stadium...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Meadowlands Stadium is ready to rock




You'll see the difference on your way to the gate.

The New Meadowlands Stadium aims to provide an immediate, immersion experience -- one meant to prepare concertgoers for the spectacle that awaits them onstage.

"Through video," says Ron VanDeVeen, senior vice president of events and guest experiences for the new facility, "the building will take on the personality of the event of that day."

Bands playing the New Meadowlands will still handle their own lights, their own mix and even their own stage setup. Depending on acoustics -- something we'll know more about after Bon Jovi opens the stadium on Wednesday -- the gleaming new house may sound similar to the scruffy-but-beloved old one.

But don't expect it to look the same.

"What's really different for us," says VanDeVeen, "is how we can enhance the visitor's experience with our video capability."

Twenty new video pylons will greet concertgoers with high-definition screens. These "HD pylons" -- which range in size from 20 by 40 feet to 20 by 60 feet -- will display large images related to the band about to take the stage.

WHAT ARE THE MUST SEE SHOWS AT THE NEW STADIUM?

The flexibility of the venue should help draw listeners into the concert, too. Bands and their touring crews will be able to transform the interior of the stadium to suit the needs of their performances. New Meadowlands recruits groups with ambitious production aesthetics (not to mention colossal fan bases), and VanDeVeen is confident that the venue can accommodate the demands of any touring act in the world.

Bon Jovi's elaborate load-in and set-up is expected to take six days. U2 will reprise the in-the-round show that drew a record crowd of 85,000 to old Giants Stadium in September. The four Irish rockers will be framed by a massive, multicolored claw, and will bask in the light of a mobile, cylindrical video screen.

Although some of the signature attractions promised by New Meadowlands -- such as the 350,000-square-foot entertainment plaza outside the stadium -- won't be open until the kickoff of the football season, summertime concertgoers will be able to gain access to the stadium's clubs and lounges.

"If you're in one of the seats affiliated with a club, if it's hot or cold or raining, you'll be able to get inside," says VanDeVeen.

The Touchdown Club and Gridiron Club have 3,500 seats each. The Coach's Club sells 2,200 seats. These clubs aren't full-service restaurants, but will sell snacks and drinks.

If all of this sounds a bit like construction on the New Meadowlands is still in progress -- and it will continue to be during the summer concert season -- consider that the old Giants Stadium hasn't been completely demolished yet. Its husk still squats in the lot, taking up space that could otherwise be devoted to parking.

So will driving to the Meadowlands concerts this summer be a challenge? VanDeVeen isn't worried.

He's got precedent to back him up. The soccer game between Mexico and Ecuador held at the New Meadowlands on May 7 -- which sold out the 75,000-seat stadium -- did not cause a parking cataclysm.

"We had a full house for Mexico-Ecuador, and we parked everybody on-site," says VanDeVeen. "We'll have no problem handling Bon Jovi."

Getting there

Public transportation may be the most appealing way to get to the New Meadowlands Stadium.

A special-service train will stop at a new transit station located in front of the new stadium. Riders will be able to catch the train -- which will run only during events expected to draw more than 35,000 -- in Hoboken or at Secaucus Junction.

The train did not run during May's Bamboozle festival because attendance did not reach the threshold on either day, but direct rail service will be available during all of the planned summer concerts.

Most North Jersey rail lines stop at Secaucus Junction. For those coming from New York City, Metro North and Penn Station trains also make stops there.

Those determined to drive won't find their trips to the New Meadowlands appreciably different from those they might have taken to the old Giants Stadium. Parking areas can be accessed from the Turnpike (exit 16W), Route 3 or Paterson Plank Road. Drivers taking the Parkway North will still exit at 153A for Route 3. Those taking Parkway South will get off on exit 163 for Route 17, and will then follow 17 south to Paterson Plank.

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I am and always have been a Bon Jovi fan. This blog is just my obsession taken a step further, my imagination in high gear if you will. I love to read and decided to see what would happen when I took that love of the written word and ramped it up a bit.

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