New York Jets: A day at Metlife Stadium


Property of Jonathan Maldonado, taken 8/29/15

When it comes to going to home games this upcoming season for the New York Jets, fans will be greeted with an amazing new fan experience called MetLife Central. I was happy to take part of a tour of this new area at MetLife Stadium as it’s truly a blast. It literally starts the moment you enter it as it is a surreal experience the first time you put on those special goggles.

One by one we entered our names on touchscreen keypads before boarding a flight on the MetLife blimp. Or perhaps slightly next to it, no parachute required. We were instantly flying over New York City, although the city felt oddly asleep. Turning in any direction revealed more of the concrete landscape.

This is a small glimpse of the virtual reality experience one can expect at Metlife Stadium, a fun blend of old school fun and new school tech. Metlife Stadium is alive and bustling sixteen times each season; so far, the only professional football stadium in the NFL engaging fans each and every game for both teams that represent the big apple.

So what’s the total experience like?

Next: Tailgating

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Within a moment of passing the parking tolls, the scent of burgers and hot dogs excites an appetite. The party is on!

No other pro football stadium parties week in and week out like in New York. Here, the football season never sleeps. A New York tailgating experience is right up there with, maybe even above, visiting Times Square or seeing a Broadway show for the first time. Even the NFL is headquartered here.

All sorts of tailgating goes down at Metlife from individual friends and family outings to full on sponsored tailgating events.. Each team even has its own drum-lines to hype up the fans before even stepping foot inside the stadium. There’s no tailgating experience like a New York tailgate.

Next: Metlife Turf & Inflatables

Property of Jonathan Maldonado, taken 8/29/15

Metlife Turf & Inflatables

A live football game is a different experience with kids in tow; it’s time to figure out how to enjoy the beer and BBQ while keeping the little ones entertained for the next few hours.

A walk to the Pepsi gate reveals a world of gridiron wonder for the kids, and adults too, if they’re so inclined. The MetLife turf offers a small replica football field complete with a player tunnel, a field goal post, punting practice and quarterback target nets. It’s the perfect place to live out your football fantasy. There’s even a bleacher section for parents to cheer for toddler touchdowns.

Turf too tough for your taste? Head over to the inflatable bouncy houses or obstacles courses if that’s more your style.

Next: Virtual Reality

Property of Jonathan Maldonado, taken 8/29/15

Virtual Reality

Just past the entrance inside the stadium, to the right of the Pepsi gate, lives the all-new MetLife Central. Welcome to the new school of stadium entertainment.

Among the Charlie Brown shirt clad staff members are a few shiny new toys, and you get to play with them all. First up is the Oculus headset, a recently released virtual reality world strapped to your face. Once inside, try to tame any fear of heights:

The view from above NYC inside the Oculus is both breathtaking and overwhelming. After a few seconds of initial bewilderment and some getting used to, the image gets pretty intense. It’s an overall remarkable experience. With virtual reality still in its infancy, the experience will without a doubt be impressive for those checking it out for the first time.

Just imagine a day where every seat comes with a pair of VR glasses, instantly transporting you from your seat and onto Revis Island. It’s coming soon, watch!

Next: Commemorative Tickets

Property of Jonathan Maldonado, taken 8/29/15

Commemorative Tickets

Remember sheets of perforated physical tickets, and the satisfying feeling and ripping them apart and handing them to friends and family before the game?

How bout after the game, especially if it was your first game or a historic game, you get to choose the right frame to commemorate the event and showcase your ticket stub? Those days have pretty much given way to printed 8 x 11 sheets of ads, logos and barcodes just folded up and forgotten forever.

Metlife Central brings back some of the magic of physical tickets with a customizable commemorative ticket including a photo of you and a backdrop of Metlife Stadium printed on the spot. It’s a really fun and novel way to remember the game. Don’t throw away your printed copy, this won’t get you to your seats.

Next: The Game & Beyond

Property of Jonathan Maldonado, taken 8/29/15

The Game & Beyond

Heading to your seats and the excitement mounts, I was able to soak in a great game between the Jets and Giants. No matter where you sit, rest easy, no seat is a bad seat in MetLife Stadium. That up there is a view from the seat I was sitting at and everything is visible. Easier to read the offense and defense from above, easier to see the entire play and to be honest nosebleed fans are the best.

Concessions are what you’d expect, $10 for a beer, $9-11 on chicken fingers and fries depending on how many pieces of chicken and so on. Run of the mill stuff in that department. If you’re of age, I recommend the giant frozen margarita. Thank me later but remember, designate a driver.

Now that the game is over, is your experience with MetLife Stadium over? Not if you took advantage of Metlife Central as they will now track your entire visit and game for the rest of the season! While you’re waiting on a never ending line for the train or leaving the parking lot, check the email you submitted for the VR and commemorative ticket and you should have received a link to your very own page with pictures of your complete experience.

Overall, a day at MetLife Stadium is one fans will never forget. No matter which team you root for, priceless memories will be made every single time you attend a home game!

Next: New York Jets: Top 3 players that must shine vs Eagles

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