I’ve been to a couple of NFL games at Wembley and a couple of baseball games Stateside, but for me the big bucket list goal had always been to catch an NFL game in America.
Last December I finally got that opportunity. I had booked tickets six months in advance for Patriots at Jets in Meadowlands, New Jersey for a week 16 clash.
So was an NFL game at MetLife worth it?
The MetLife stadium is famous for alternately hosting New York’s two teams – the Jets and the Giants – and it of course hosted Superbowl XLVIII a few months prior to my visit. To get there we got the subway from Penn. St Station to Secaucus and then on to Meadowlands. We ended up waiting a while before getting the train as they weren’t very regular and thanks to the large crowds heading the same way, we didn’t get to our seats until ten minutes into the game.
I had bought the cheapest seats which placed us in the hilarious company of drunken college students – I had done this on purpose to try and get seats with a great atmosphere and I wasn’t disappointed! Regular chants of J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! kept us entertained and the halftime Christmas cheerleaders put on great show. The Delaware North nachos were huge and delicious – man, there’s nothing quite like American portions at sports venues is there?
It would be remiss of me not to mention the obvious: we went in December, which is the crunch end of the season but also a mightily chilly time to be way up high in a stadium like MetLife in New Jersey. My girlfriend got particularly cold towards the end but fortunately we were treated to a surprise thriller as the Jets came within one point of an upset, so we stayed until the end.
The queues getting back to the station were long, but it wasn’t much worse than after a Wembley game. All in all, it was an incredible day and I loved being with the local fans, a very different experience to hanging out with international fans of 32 teams at Wembley.
I’m keen to see another NFL game in the States, and college football also takes my fancy. Americans do sport like noone else and it was a joy to witness such a great spectacle and be part of the great New York tradition of commuting to Meadowlands. I’d highly recommend it, but wrap up warm!
Need to Know
Leave plenty of time to get tickets and the train. We got to Penn St Station at 11:20, had to wait until 12:00 for a train and still missed the start of the game at 13:00
It takes over an hour to get from Penn St Station to your seat at MetLife
NFL Jets tickets: $75 (bought six months in advance through NFL.com; cheapest tickets)
Train tickets to Meadowlands: $10.50
Bud Lite (in a cool souvenir Superbowl XLVIII cup): $10