New Jets and Giants Stadium Comes Under Criticism for Obstructed-View Seats

Imagine paying $1,200 a year for Jets or Giants season tickets — plus a $4,000 one-time "personal seat license" fee — only to show up to the first game at the new Meadowlands football stadium and realize you have a giant steel pillar blocking your view.

For some unlucky fans, that nightmare could be a reality. According to the New York Post, each of the two mezzanine end-zone sections has four pillars supporting the upper deck, something that is almost always avoided in modern stadiums.

The article said that 59 seats have completely obstructed views and hundreds more have limited sightlines.

"The fact that there are columns in there and possibly obstructed-view seating is a joke," one Jets season-ticket holder told the paper after walking through the stadium last weekend.

New York architect Peter Eisenman, who designed the Arizona Cardinals' University of Phoenix Stadium that opened in 2006, was miffed as well.

"I'm surprised. I don't know why the columns are there," he told the Post. "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."

Eisenman speculated that cost or time constraints might be the reason for the steel supports.

"They might have saved a lot of money in terms of the steel needed in the cantilevers," he said. "They might have been under a lot of pressure to bring the cost down or under enormous time pressure."

The article said that the Jets and Giants declined to comment on the beams, but the stadium's designer, George Heinlein, said they were necessary to keep upper-deck seating as close to the field as possible.

"The objective of ownership … was to create the most intimidating home-field advantage in football," he told the paper. "Columns are not needed in other stadiums, which do not have the capacity or the proximity of end-zone seating."

The Post said the Jets and Giants have stopped trying to sell tickets for the seats that are completely obstructed, and Heinlein said some of them will be removed.

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