Mark Lamping Interview, CEO New Meadowlands Stadium

On Sirius Radio Bob Papa and Ross Tucker just interviewed Mark Lamping.  Mark is the CEO of the New Meadowlands Stadium.   Here is a recap of their conversation:

On Opening Night…
It went very well, he was very proud of event staff.  They will continue to get better but he was pleased.

Why Were The Construction Costs So High…
The total cost was 1.6 Billion, 1.3 Billion towards construction.  It cost more than Baltimore because it is bigger and has more suites and clubs.  Plus the old stadium removal costs and NY Labor is higher.

About The Field…
Softer field by design with an e-layer, cushion under the turf itself.  These fields firm up over time, sand and pellets in with the fibers of the turf.  They will settle over time.  Softer field should result in less concussions and better performance.

Who owns New Meadowlands Company?
50% Giants, 50% Jets.  Mark works for and is responsible for both companies.

Technology Improvements
Security bracelets gives them the capability of putting a bracelet on anyone (kids) and that allows them to track people as they move throughout the facility.  Fans can come to guest services and get this on game day, starting in the regular season.

Traffic Patterns
Last night was the first event that had the entire parking lot open.  They finished the new parking lot on Sunday evening, signs, resurfacing.  16W and 18W entrances have been widened.  Both teams have parking policies.  They are doing the best they can to get cars parked as close as possible which will make it easier getting in and out.  Last night there weren’t many reported parking issues, but since it was a preseason game a lot of people left early.  The train will help, if they get 10,000 fans on the train that means 3,000 less cars in the parking lot.

It was a good interview and as someone who was at the stadium last night I agree they did an excellent job with this building.   It is going to take awhile before many long time season ticket holders are used to their new surroundings.  As has been discussed previously, the stadium is state of the art, TVs everywhere.  The new scoreboards are incredible.  And the upper deck seems like it needs its own zip code.  We would love to hear from someone who sat in the upper tier of the upper deck.

There are some things that need to be improved:

  • There was a fire alarm during the game which apparently was a false alarm.  That is a recipe for disaster.
  • The microphones on the field did not work initially during the Ring of Honor ceremony.  That is an embarrassment and can’t happen going forward.
  • Parking was good but the attendants didn’t always direct the flow of traffic.  They were being courteous and would talk to people as they pulled up asking questions.  Except as the attendants would deal with the one car everyone else was left unsure if they should stop or go.  This will work itself out as people get more comfortable with the color coded parking system.
  • The in-game PA system went down for a large part of the first half.  We simply can not have the flight crew dancing and now know what song is playing.
  • Cell phone service seems to have been disrupted for a large part of the game, especially early.  Many Verizon subscribers were frustrated with the lack of a signal as they stared at a large Verizon advertisement.

At the end of the day these are minor issues and can be easily addressed.  Jets fans are going to love their new home, it was fun watching a lot of the new players take in the crowd as Fireman Ed led the Jets chant before the opening kickoff.

What did you think about the new stadium?  Tell us in our NY Jets fan forum.


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