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Who needs it?

Posted by Bob Ryan, Globe Staff  January 6, 2010 12:37 PM

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A football miracle of the highest proportion aside -- the Jets could conceivably host the AFC Championship Game --- the last football game has been played in Giants Stadium.

This is a total sports travesty. The Giants and Jets move into a new stadium next year. They do so for no good reason. There is nothing wrong with Giants Stadium. It is only 33 years old, and it is as fine a place to watch a football game as has ever been constructed. The sight lines are excellent. It was brilliantly conceived to provide easy access to both rest rooms and concessions, no matter where you sit. I repeat: there is nothing wrong with it for the average fan.

No, I'm not naive. I know why a new stadium has been built, and the average fan has nothing to do with it. The average fan is utterly inconsequential in this discussion. He or she could not possibly be more irrelevant. For the past two decades, every stadium or arena built in this country for the use of a professional sports team has been constructed with just one thing in mind; namely, the revenue that can be gleaned from luxury boxes or so-called "club seats."

This is not news. We all know that. But we have reached the moral nadir with Giants Stadium. When I say there is nothing wrong with this stadium from the viewpoint of the average fan, I mean nothing. The location? Sure. Not everyone is happy with that. But the new stadium is adjacent to the current one, so location is not an issue here. I'm talking solely about the structure itself, and from that viewpoint Giants Stadium is perfect. You can't do any better.

Now we enter into the discussion the matter of Personal Seat Licenses (PCLs) and ticket prices in general. The Giants and Jets are trying desperately to downplay the fact that many thousands of their most loyal customers will not be making the move into the new stadium. They just can't afford it. Many others who can afford it aren't happy about it, but they love the game too much to give it up. They are being herded into a new stadium they neither want nor need.

Shame on any politician who abetted this disgraceful act. That one cent of taxpayer money was spent to allow this is an atrocity. The Giants and Jets are hijacking an enjoyable experience from loyal people, and governmental agencies are their enablers.

Most every other stadium or arena built during the past two decades has replaced an outmoded facility. Yankee Stadium II is missed, as is the Old Garden, but even their most passionate fans would have to recognize that each of these revered facilities had serious logistical problems.

Not so with Giants Stadium. It was a superb facility when it was built in 1976. It was a superb facility this past Sunday, when the Jets played what is almost undoubtedly the final football game there.

The only thing it lacks is a hundred or so luxury boxes. In this day and age, nothing else matters to owners. The real fan is so much navel lint.

Sunday, January 3 was not just a bad day for the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a bad day for the American sports fan.

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About bob ryan's blog Opinions, observations and anecdotes from Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan.
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Bob is an award-winning columnist for the Globe and the host of "Globe 10.0" on Boston.com.

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