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|| News Item: Posted 1998-12-05

NFL Stadium Report
New York-New Jersey

By Bob Deutsch, USA TODAY

One of the best places to work, with a few exceptions. Access is great via the NJ Turnpike or RT. 3 from NYC and the Lincoln Tunnel, but only if you get there at least 2 hours before the game. After that, count on missing the kickoff!

Parking is same story, plentiful early. Media parking is good, but permit is needed. Or you can pay and join the tailgaters for some burgers.

Access to field , tunnel, AP darkroom, and elevator to Press Room is via players entrance, a steps. Cart friendly. Go thru parking lots 9/11 and you will see a "loading dock/truck entrance"...that is players and media entrance. It leads straight onto field, or AP darkroom to right in tunnel about 100 feet. Past that is elevator (follow signs) to Press Box.

For Jets, photogs are welcomed for good, hot meal and stats. For Giants, well, that is another matter. Pre-game cold "food" is in locker room "b" near AP darkroom. No access to press box. Eat in a bathroom. Halftime "food" is cold (either by design or time).If you're thirsty, better be in well before halftime...they put out about 1/4 the number of drinks necessary, and are gone well before the crush. Same for the food.

As for the field, it is pretty good. It's mud. Light is somewhere in 500/2.8 @ 800..though new lights were installed on one side when the new press box (read: new suites) were installed...I've not tested them yet.

Some "Goobers" w/ point and shoots and Minoltas and 85 mm lenses w tripods around, although the security chief there has been receptive to challenging them and removing some. We pointed out 2 TV credentialed do-nothings w small cameras watching the game and taking up sideline room and he removed them. Sometimes though, they can also be a little absurd with us too. They have tried to make us stand rather than sit along the wall 3 hours before game time..."it doesn't look good". (Even before fans were let in!). High wall, so you can stand everywhere if you wish, and fans cannot grab gear.

As for the new 3 foot zone, this was my 1st NFL game here, along with one college game with the same new rule. One was a Monday night crew, one CBS. I know most of the camera people doing the vest thing, and they tried to kneel most times. So it wasn't a big problem, though I chose the end zone with 900 mm or so (digital)...that and the 35-350 worked very well. One camera person chose to stand in front of us regardless, and was a pain. But she does same everywhere..even her work mates said she could care less.

So it does matter who is there. Sound dishes were in with us, cable pullers were hit and miss..the ones with the good cameras were good, the one with the difficult person was just like her.

Lastly, traffic leaving stadium is difficult. Leave early, leave very late, or have some good tunes in your car! The worst is Northbound Turnpike to Washington Bridge.

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