Answers from Our Experts (4)
New York has long been considered one of the best sports towns. Of course, when it comes to Major League Baseball in New York, you’re a die-hard fan of either the Yankees or the Mets, both of which play in new stadiums. There’s just no wiggle room in this city of baseball fans known for their confrontational nature: loving one ball team means hating the other. Yankee loyalists are on the smug side - and rightfully so, with a long, gilded history of winning. Mets fans have endured a shorter, rockier and far less glamorous heritage - their team is the scrappy underdog playing in the vast shadow of baseball’s most storied franchise.
After 85 years playing in historic Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers opened their 2009 season in a $1.3 billion, 4,000-seat-smaller bowl-shaped stadium. New Yankee Stadium is next to the old ballpark site, offering the same easy access to public transit (via the B, D and 4 trains) and a field of identical dimensions to the old one, which is why it was probably so easy to win their 27th title in their new home. Though “The House that Ruth Built” (nicknamed for Babe Ruth’s fan-drawing power) is missed, the new stadium - perhaps “The House that A-Rod Built” - isn’t having any trouble drawing crowds. If you’re in town when the pinstripes are playing, try for tickets during the week; weekends can grow crowded. If Boston is in town, be prepared to pay up for the privilege of watching one of the most heated rivalries in Major League Baseball.
The New York Mets started the 2009 season in Citi Field, built in Flushing right next door to the old one, Shea Stadium. This is the Mets’ third home (they played their first two seasons at the Manhattan Polo Grounds), and by far their swankiest to date. The ballpark includes 12,000 square feet of integrated scoring and video boards throughout the stadium, expanded family and entertainment areas, and an interactive Mets museum. You can also expect wider seats, more legroom, fancier restaurants and more bathrooms. The entire project cost roughly $600 million, with the bulk of the tab picked up by the Mets organization, and the rest funded by New York city and state taxes, as well as Citigroup, which purchased the naming rights to the park for $20 million a year for the next 20 years.
Then there’s Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty. Each year, Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves are held at the arena as well. Situated on top of Pennsylvania Station and in the heart of New York City, MSG opened in 1968 and remains the oldest stadium in the NHL and the second oldest in the NBA. In an effort to upgrade this slice of history, however, renovations are underway and due to be completed in the 2012-13 season. Fans should expect a changed lower bowl of the Arena, new seating, new stores, and an expanded Madison Concourse.
New York’s two NFL teams-the Jets and the Giants-both play at the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The stadium is the largest in the NFL. The easiest way to get to the stadium is on mass transit. Riders from New York can take Metro-North trains.
Madison Square Garden is the central venue for all sports, from boxing to hockey to basketball. It’s the world’s most famous arena, where Rocky Marciano dethroned Joe Louis and where all the big hockey games have been played.
Live New York sports mainly take place at Madison Square Garden or in the New Jersey Meadowlands. You can cheer on the Yankees at Yankee Stadium or the Mets at Citi Field. There are also numerous sports bars throughout the city where you can catch any of your favorite teams.
You can still enjoy the game surrounded by the excitement of fellow fans even if sitting for hours in a main sports arena is not your cup tea. One of the trendiest spots to watch sports in NYC is Jay Z's very own The 40/40 Club. This upscale sportsbar is 12,000 Sq Ft and has four 165 inch state of the art video walls. It is also home to a one-of-a-kind jersey Hall of Fame. It has five VIP lounges available for private events.
For those who still prefer the sports arena feel, but want the services of an upscale sports bar, then consider the 40/40 club's other option: Barclay's Center located in Brooklyn.