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Thread: Giants Stadium

  1. #31
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT757
    The Meadowlands is in Bergen County, Bergen County enforces Blue laws. All the malls in Bergen County are closed on Sundays. That would leave the place open for Football fan parking.
    I live in Bergen County.

    What about Friday night games?

    What about grocery or food stores?

    Why would the Giants be asking for the mall to be completely shut down if there was going to be no concern about it in the first place? What if the Blue Laws were waived for this particular development?


    (PS, I grew up in BC.. You went to Wayne on Sunday if you wanted a mall....)

  2. #32

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    Here's the question I would like answered about Giants Stadium: what does it say when a THIRTY YEAR OLD arena is considered obsolete? Eight hundred million dollars--no small amount of which comes from the public trough--for a football stadium when the one used now is in perfectly fine shape?

    Why is no one discussing this matter?

    If the Giants/Jets get this pleasuredome, can they at least sign something that says they'll use this thing for at least fifty years? Or can the public look forward to this "we need a new stadium" argument in 2025?

  3. #33
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    They just don't make 'em like they used to, JD

    Even in an era of renewed architectural sensitivity, are we still, like Ada Louise Huxtable once said, a tinhorn culture that wants and gets tincan architecture?

  4. #34

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    I couldn't resist. They're all obsolete now.,

    New football arenas push bounds of stadium engineering

    Monday, August 29, 2005

    By Alex Frangos, The Wall Street Journal


    At the Arizona Cardinals new stadium in Glendale, Ariz., a half-dozen of the team's 300-pound linemen will jump up and down in unison next month, hammering a 30-foot patch of turf under their cleats.

    Training for a new quarterback blitz? Nope. Testing the limits of the playing surface the Cardinals plan to use as the centerpiece of their $450 million stadium when it opens in 2006: a retractable field. Imagine a gigantic rectangular planter 18 inches deep with dirt and grass, and mounted on rails.

    "We've got marching bands marching, and big gorillas tackling each other -- we've got to make sure the floor doesn't move beneath them," says Larry Griffis, president of the structures division of Walter P. Moore, one of the leading stadium engineering firms in the U.S. Mr. Griffis is currently working on three National Football League projects and is a leading expert on retractable stadium roofs.

    Now he has to deal with a retractable floor -- the first of its kind for a stadium in the U.S. Mr. Griffis is worried not so much that the field will collapse under the weight of the titans, but that the vibrations will make the players feel uneasy. "It's not a structural issue, but a perception issue," he says.

    The next generation of NFL arenas is pushing the bounds of stadium engineering way beyond the old bowl-like, exposed-to-the-elements structures of the past, and even beyond more recent indoor venues. Football stadiums these days must serve as team icons, with bold, distinctive designs that render them easily recognizable for brand identity. They also have to be functionally and environmentally versatile, to tap other kinds of event revenue than just football.

    The Cardinals, for their part, hired New York architect Peter Eisenman, something of a maverick in design circles as well as a football fanatic. The architect responded by conjuring a vision inspired by the team's Southwest desert setting: a barrel cactus. Curved metallic panels will alternate with glass strips around the exterior of the building, scheduled for completion before the 2006 season. A retractable roof will let air in on temperate winter Sundays. And in a bid to have both natural turf and a building that makes money year-round, the Cardinals are betting on their grass field on wheels. Even during football season, the field will be able to roll outside next to the parking lot during the week so it can soak up the warm Arizona sun while conferences and meetings take place indoors.

    This is relatively new territory for engineers. Only a handful of stadiums in Japan and Europe have experimented with retractable fields. Mr. Griffis tried to learn about the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, near Munich. But the tight-lipped builders didn't want to compare notes, Mr. Griffis says. "We're sort of inventing the wheels ourselves," he says, referring not only to the field but the rollers underneath.

    The NFL's two other teams with funds to move forward with new stadium blueprints are Indianapolis and Dallas. The Indianapolis Colts unveiled their design this year, by Dallas architects HKS Inc. The shape is inspired by the classic Indiana field house, a square building with sloped roof, which in this case will be retractable.

    The sloping roof, in fact, poses a challenge to the engineers since it also has to move. "It's basically a combination of crane and railroad technology being utilized on a moving roof rather than, say, unloading containers on a ship," says Brian Trubey, the architect on the Indianapolis and Dallas stadiums. Every retractable roof is a challenge, Mr. Trubey says, because each stadium's shape is different. Mr. Trubey says he lets his buddy Mr. Griffis worry about the particulars. "There's some good engineers who know how to do that," he kids.

    Mr. Griffis responds, only half-kiddingly, with a complaint often heard from engineers: that architects come up with designs that are difficult to build while staying within the budget. "A lot of these architects are great at getting them to look good," Mr. Griffis says of modern stadiums, "but not so good at the price tag. It can get pretty tense. We're going through that with Mr. Trubey right now."

    Before Arizona, Mr. Griffis's biggest football-stadium challenge was for the Houston Texans' Reliant Stadium -- the first NFL venue with a retractable roof. As in Arizona, financial pressures forced the stadium owners to seek additional revenue from other kinds of events. The solution: the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, an annual 2 1/2-week run of lassos and bucking bulls that sells out every night. The show actually brings in more money than football, so it demanded some design changes.

    Having multiple uses "adds a level of complexity to the design," says Mr. Griffis. For the rodeo, for instance, "we had to design for all the speakers and lights and banners they wanted to hang." That meant the retractable roof needed to support an additional 180,000 pounds. The solution: more steel supports.

    Other recent proposals pushing at the edge of stadium design include the New York Jets' ambitious plan for a multipurpose stadium on the west side of Manhattan, an idea that was scuttled earlier this year. Designed by New York architects Kohn, Pedersen, Fox and by engineers Thornton-Tomasetti Group, also of New York, the retractable-roof stadium would have been built atop a busy railyard. The stadium also would have served as a convention center, concert hall and giant ballroom. And an early version of the plan envisioned a structure transformable from a 75,000-seat stadium into a 20,000-seat basketball or hockey arena.

    While that project is unlikely to move forward, the Jets are considering other possibilities. One is to build a stadium in the borough of Queens. A potentially more innovative option would be to share a new stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., with their rivals the New York Giants-next to the facility the two already share.

    The current situation has the Jets playing in Giants Stadium, the name clearly emblazoned on the outside of the structure. The Jets have long complained about the arrangement, saying the NFL is all about home-field advantage. The teams have been willing to discuss sharing a new stadium, however, because of design ideas being discussed that would make it a home for both franchises, such as massive changeable light displays that would mutate from one Sunday to the next: green for Jets, blue for Giants. After all, it's cheaper to build one stadium than two.

    Recently at the Cardinals' practice facility in Phoenix, stadium designers kept their focus firmly on the floor as they tested a prototype for vibrations. The design calls for a series of steel rails running under the length of the field, from end zone to end zone, and serving as the tracks. Running crossways under the tray of dirt and grass are steel beams that will rest on boxes containing railroadlike wheels.

    Before the test, Mr. Griffis's calculations said the span from rail to rail should be 23 feet in order to minimize the vibrations.

    Thomas M. Murray and Mehdi Setareh, professors from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, brought a special shaking machine to simulate different intensities of vibration atop the section of the field. Volunteers from Mr. Griffis's team and the Cardinals' front office moved around on the shaking field to see whether the vibrations were perceptible to humans, while accelerometers measured the exact level of vibration.

    One thing they found: The worst sort of event is coordinated jumping exercises -- the kind of thing that football players or marching bands often do. With everyone moving in unison, it increases the force and thus the vibration.

    Shaking-building phenomenon is a product of modern construction material, and thus is not limited to stadiums. Convention centers, shopping-mall atriums and aerobics studios are notorious for their perceptible vibrations. Engineers say buildings weigh 40 percent less than they did before World War II, after which construction methods changed. Light steel and concrete have replaced brick and steel. Drywall has pushed aside masonry. Feather-light metal studs stand in for heavy pine.

    For the Cardinals and their field, however, the challenge goes beyond vibrations. Because the tray of dirt and grass is exposed top and bottom to Arizona's desert heat when it's outside, the roots and stems of the grass can fry. Part of the experiment at the practice facility also was to determine how much water the grounds crew will need to sprinkle in order to keep the field fresh and green.

    Another obstacle for the engineers was attaching Mr. Eisenman's unique cactus-shaped panels to the frame of the building. Despite the difficulty, the Cardinals think the result will be worth it, since beginning in 2006 millions of football fans will identify the team with televised blimp shots of their new stadium.

    Mr. Trubey, the architect for the Colts, says television exerts a powerful force on stadium design. "You can argue that NFL venues are the most-seen type of architecture on television," he says. "As much time as we spend making it incredible for the people actually physically there, we believe the balance of the audience -- which is probably 99 percent of it -- hadn't been leveraged as a participant in terms of enhancing brand through the stadium."

    Of course, even with a great brand, football can't take place without a big hunk of solid turf.

    The Cardinals initial field vibration test proved crucial. Mr. Griffis and his team discovered that the 23-foot span between the rails was too wide. The fix: more rails spaced more closely together.

    But that doesn't have them satisfied. On Sept 19 and 20, the team will do a "confirmation test" on a 30-foot-long, full-width slice of the actual field, this time with real players -- not engineers -- jumping around. If the pitch passes, workers will go ahead on the rest of the field without changes. Mr. Griffis is philosophical about all the tests. "We know from past experience that if you don't pay attention early in the design, it'll bite you in the end."

  5. #35
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    OK, the perception issue is vibration.

    The main problem with this is multifaceted. First, AZ is NOT the most friendly state to grass or ANY foliage, period.

    Are they building this dome to have AC inside? or provide shade?

    Also, any movable structure needs constant maintainance several orders higher than a fixed/immobile structure. Things like Shea Stadium come to mind when they talk about a movable field.

    Third, ummmmm, barrel cactus? Alternating strips of metal and glass? Does that sound at all familiar to anyone? (albeit a material substitution...)


  6. #36

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    Forget all that technical stuff.

    Just picture a chorus line of fat linemen - a grotesque parody of a Radio City Christmas Show, barrel cactus in place of fir trees.

  7. #37
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    The Radio City Super Bowl Shuffle Spectacular?

  8. #38
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    NY Times
    August 31, 2005

    Giants' Feud With Xanadu Is About More Than Traffic


    The Giants say Xanadu's garages are not suited for tailgate parties.

    By RONALD SMOTHERS
    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Aug. 25 - If further evidence is needed that the car is king in New Jersey - and that matters of traffic and roads trump most other issues - look no further than the Meadowlands.

    The New York Giants have gone to court to try to block their neighbor, the planned $1.3 billion Meadowlands Xanadu family entertainment and retail complex, from operating on game days, on the grounds that it would turn a trip to a Giants game from a mere traffic problem into a traffic nightmare.

    The fight among the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns the land; the Giants; and the developers of Meadowlands Xanadu appeared to be over last May when the team and the state agreed to a plan for a new privately financed $750 million football stadium on a separate parcel nearby.

    But in papers filed in State Superior Court in Bergen County on Aug. 23, just a month before the team is to provide details about the new stadium, its lawyers sued, asking a judge to immediately restrict the operations of Xanadu, now under construction.

    According to their court papers, the Giants say their fans' No. 1 complaint involves getting into and out of the stadium grounds on game days - a feat that involves 24,000 cars and as many as 80,000 fans. With Xanadu, 12,000 cars will be added to the mix, both sides agree.

    Some of the cars will be shunted to Xanadu's garages, affecting those fans' ability to indulge in that parking lot tradition, tailgate parties.

    The Giants say they are actually losing parking spaces. But the lawsuit is about more than parking, the team concedes. With details of the new stadium to be worked out, the suit is an attempt by the team to gain leverage in talks with Xanadu's developers and to strengthen its hand in dealing with the sports and exposition authority. In particular, the team wants court enforcement of a provision in its lease that makes its consent required for any changes in the complex that affect the team's operations on game days or compete with them.

    The issue seems to have become a matter of pride for John Mara, the executive vice president of the Giants. In an interview, Mr. Mara spoke wistfully about the decision his father, Wellington Mara, made in 1971 to move the Giants from Yankee Stadium. There, they were "second-class tenants." To get the true football stadium he desired, he decided to move his team to what was then a vast marsh and vacant expanse of filled-in dump.

    One editorial cartoon at the time depicted the elder Mr. Mara, cloaked like George Washington on a snowy winter night, standing at the prow of a boat, being rowed by football players onto a shore strewn with broken bottles, crushed cans and litter. There was wide speculation, apart from New York-centric chauvinism, that the move to New Jersey would be a disaster for the team.

    It was in that atmosphere that the Giants managed to get provisions in their lease that gave them a virtual veto over alterations at the site that might affect their operations. John Mara says those provisions are crystal clear, but Carl J. Goldberg, the chairman of the sports and exposition authority, insists they are not.

    Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist and professor at Smith College, said such clauses were common in stadium lease arrangements around the country. "They are designed to maximize space and thereby maximize revenues for the team," he said.

    Mr. Mara said the Giants feel they must invoke the provisions to protect their interests. "It was a decision by my family that gave rise to this entire complex," he said. "And to be honest, we are starting to feel like second-class citizens over here."

    Xanadu's retail operations would be closed on Sunday game days because of county blue laws, but restaurants and other activities would be open. Mr. Goldberg said Giants fans could stick around to eat and play, and the drawn-out day could actually decrease the traffic congestion immediately after the games.

    A planned rail link to the Meadowlands could reduce traffic by as many as 10,000 to 20,000 cars, officials have estimated. Martin E. Robins of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University said an efficient rail connection would come to be accepted by fans "over time."

    But Mr. Zimbalist is skeptical. "These are people of means who want to drive and are not going to take public transportation," he said.

    Mr. Mara said the blue laws affect only Sundays, and more and more league games are on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, putting the stadium in direct competition with Xanadu - a situation that the anticompetition and noninterference clauses are meant to address.

    The Xanadu developers say they have offered traffic improvements, to be carried out on a timetable to be negotiated with the team. Further, they have agreed to spend $80 million on road construction. Michael Turner, a spokesman for the developers, the Mills Corporation and the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, also said that whatever the team loses in surface parking would be more than made up by Xanadu's parking decks.

    Mr. Mara is holding fast, insisting that Xanadu not be allowed to open on game days until all of the road improvements are completed and proven to work. He said deck parking is no alternative for football fans and tailgate partygoers.

    George R. Zoffinger, the president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, who carried out Gov. James E. McGreevey's mission to broaden the use of the Meadowlands by bringing in Xanadu, said the Giants' stance was "all about the money." He said the team was hobbling efforts to better use the land for creating jobs and producing tax revenues for the state.

    Mr. Mara said he realizes that the lawsuit and the team's tough stance could jeopardize plans for the new stadium. But he said it was a chance he had to take. "This lawsuit is necessary for us to preserve our rights as we go into any new negotiations," he said. "We only have 10 home games a year, and Xanadu has the other 355 days to operate."


  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge
    This looks like an initial request that they will scale back to some agreement on parking/traffic control.

    Hmmmm hmmm hmmmm, laaa laaaaaa.

    /me whistles casually

  10. #40
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    It also looks like they are fearing that they will no longer be the "fat cat" of the meadowlands area, being able to dictate, at will, the development and interests of the surrounding area.

    With the large Mega-Mall from hell moving in, they will have to compete with the Gap, Bananna Republic, Old Navy and Starbucks on gameday and all other days.

    And from what it sounds like on here, it seems like those pesky blue laws are not a concern here. I wonder what is the deal with that......

  11. #41

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    Has Bergen County ever considered abolishing blue laws? Then again, don't homeowners there have people that inspect their lawns?

  12. #42
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    They have been petitioned to do so, with the store owners saying that it would relieve traffic on Saturdays.

    But then the traffic study guys looked at the mall traffic in Wayne on Sunday and told them to buzz off.

    If you have ever been on routes 4 and 17 on a weekend you will know how slow traffic is because of the malls. It is a good thing to have the blue laws, although the reasoning behind them (religious) is BAAAAAD.

  13. #43
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    Getting into the Garden State Plaza Mall parking gargage is a no-no, I learned that the hard way. That mall while having nice stores, Legal Seafood and Orange Julius is unbelievably crowded.

  14. #44

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    What are blue laws?

  15. #45
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    They are a lightly colored law. Kind of halfway between sky and azure....



    JK, Blue Laws, whiule I do not know the derivation of the term, refer to moralistic laws that follow certain value sets put forth by the community. Things like when bars can operate, what liquors, and when a store can sell (NJ cannot sell liquor in a grocery store!) and other commercial venue restrictions (no retail sales of non-essentials on Sunday).


    Maybe someone else can help with the origins, or you could just Google it...

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