New Meadowlands rules mean less tailgating

August 12, 2008 4:14:42 PM PDT
The Meadowlands Sports Complex has new rules regarding alcohol and fan behavior. Parking lots for Giants Stadium, the Izod Arena and the Meadowlands Racetrack will now open five hours before events, instead of seven.

In addition, season ticketholders who are ejected from the stadium or arena will have their tickets revoked, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority announced.

If the season tickets are being used by someone other than the owner, the owner will be sent two warnings. A third incident will result in revocation, said Dennis Robinson, authority president and CEO.

"This program is, plain and simple, about respect. Respect for oneself and one another," Robinson said.

Each team can decide on whether to issue refunds for revoked tickets, he said.

The New York Giants and New York Jets, who play at the stadium, and the New Jersey Nets, whose games are at the arena, did not immediately return calls seeking comment on their policies. About all the football seats are held by season ticketholders.

The authority has also taken steps to prevent harassment of women. Last season, security at the stadium's Gate D was increased at Jets games because hundreds of men would gather at halftime and demand that women expose their breasts. View-blocking banners will be hung on the spiral staircase to help eliminate the problem, which did not occur during Giants games.

State Senate President Richard J. Codey, who demanded a crackdown at Gate D, commended the authority for its actions.

"Consider this an idiot protection policy for those fans decent and mature enough to enjoy the event without getting trashed," said Codey, D-Essex. "For those that were used to overdoing it, hopefully now they will get home safely without endangering others and come to enjoy waking up the next morning and actually remembering the game."

Unchanged is the halftime cutoff for alcohol sales, said to be the most stringent in the NFL, and the limit of two drinks at each purchase.

The authority is also introducing a text messaging system that is to allow fans to notify stadium management of any problems.

Copies of the fan "code of conduct" will be posted and distributed. Among other items, it requires fans to sit in their ticketed seats refrain from "foul or abusive language and obscene gestures and harassment of visiting team fans."

It states that, "Guests who engage in fighting, throwing objects or attempting to enter the field of play will be immediately ejected."

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