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  • Richard Smith

MetLife Stadium – Army/Navy Game – New York / New Jersey


Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29

MetLife Stadium 1 Metlife Stadium Dr East Rutherford, NJ 07073


Year Opened: 2010 Capacity: 82,500


 

America’s Game In New Jersey

The Army-Navy Game is one of the most iconic sporting events in the United States. The rivalry football game between the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy has been going on since 1890, although has only been played annually since 1899. The game was not held in 1917 or 1918, due to World War I, and in 1929, when the two academies disagreed over player eligibility rules.


Philadelphia is usually thought of as the main home to the game, although starting in 2008 a bidding process has now made the game likely to rotate to various venues. Philadelphia still holds the record for most games hosted, followed by New York City and Baltimore. The game has been held as far west as Chicago (1926) and at the Rose Bowl in Pasedena, CA (1983). The 2020 edition was held on the Army campus in West Point, NY because of Covid-19.


Food & Beverage 4

There are numerous food options within the surprisingly crowded inner concourses.


Options are in large and small concession stands such as Bubba Burgers, Frank’s, BBQ Shack, Boardwalk Fryer, Wingman NY, and Momma Fusco’s Kitchen. Our personal favorite was Mr. Tot. Food prices are high, as likely expected for an NFL stadium within the New York City area.


MetLife sells Pepsi brand sodas.


Atmosphere 5

The game atmosphere is amazing. There are activities both before and during the game to keep all of the fans engaged. Even the game back in 2018, which was played in a driving snowstorm, the atmosphere never suffered. The actual location of the game seems to not matter.

MetLife is not the best stadium in the NFL. It seems old and dated compared to some other recent stadiums, but it has a well-designed seating bowl offering great views.

The massive Jets/Giants store will be closed, but many smaller stands will be available for Army-Navy game merchandise.


Neighborhood 3

The Meadowlands is a swamp. That is not some kind of put-down, but it is in a literal swamp. There is not a normal neighborhood nearby. Of course, New York City is a car or train ride away and offers many options for everyone. The best way to arrive is by car and use the parking lots that surround the stadium.

The addition of the recently opened American Dream Mall helps the place in the neighborhood score. While still not 100% open, it is home to many stores, restaurants, an indoor amusement and water park, an NHL-sized skating rink, an indoor ski slope, and an aquarium just to name a few.


Fans 5

This game means the world to the teams and fans in attendance. Everyone picks a side to root for. “Go Army! Beat Navy!” and “Go Navy! Beat Army!” are chanted and shouted almost non-stop before and during the game. Even with the emotions of the game, there is a respectful tone. This is not a crowd that will fight over their emotions. These are respectful fans who take pride in their teams, as well as their nation.


Access 4

The Meadowlands is located off many major highways and has massive parking lots. You will not fight to find parking, although expect to pay $40 and up. There are train and bus options but expect long lines and a large number of fellow riders to fight through to use those services.


Return on Investment 4

The Army-Navy game may not be the cheapest around. It is the desired ticket for many fans, so expect to pay a decent amount of money. That, coupled with pretty expensive parking, means the game will not be cheap. But for the experience you will get, the price seems fair and reasonable.


Extras 5

It is the Army-Navy game, so that is probably extra enough as it is. But there are other reasons to attend.

Stay outside the stadium to witness the walk of the Cadets and Midshipmen into the stadium. Then get inside to watch the formations on the field. It is well worth attending just for this.

The game will almost always have a good flyover pregame, whether it is Army helicopters or Navy jets that you prefer. The Navy and Army will also have skydivers jumping into the opening ceremony, weather dependent. Both the Navy and Army have ships, tanks, and other large equipment around the stadium displaying their awesome firepower.


Final Thoughts

The Army-Navy game is one of the most special events a sports fan can ever attend. The overall pageantry of the event and the pure sports aspect of the contest makes it a must-see for any real sports fan.

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