New Meadowlands Stadium (left) and
Giants Stadium, during construction.
(courtesy Wikipedia Commons)
By Strother Bullins and Clive Young.
Taking over from the unlamented Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ is a new edifice: New Meadowlands Stadium. Built next door within the Meadowlands Sports Complex, and completed in spring 2010, the 82,566-seat facility cost approximately $1.6 billion, making it the most expensive stadium ever constructed. Set to house both the New York Giants and Jets NFL football teams—not to mention the 2014 Super Bowl—the facility opened with a string of sold-out concerts by New Jersey’s own hard rock stalwarts, Bon Jovi. Because the band was the first act to play there, Pro Sound News talked with the band's longtime FOH man, Dave Eisenhauer, to find out what the venue’s like on the sound side.
“To prepare, we did multiple site surveys as well as received detailed drawings of where people were to be seated,” tells Eisenhauer. “We went in there, examined everything, and came up with a CAD drawing of where we needed to put in delay positions. As a result, we nearly doubled the size of the PA from what we were doing in arenas. We also put in four delay positions, right behind front-of-house, to cover the upper deck in the back and the back side corners. It was really nice--we didn’t have to have all the sound coming directly from the PA, which allowed us to not make the main PA work as hard.”
The New Meadowlands, offers Eisenhauer, provides big sonic improvements over its predecessor. “The old Meadowlands stadium, because of its design, had what I’d call ‘the bowl effect’--the sound goes out, but really has nowhere to go. It just kind of rolls around in the back of the stadium. With the new stadium, you didn’t get as much of that wrapping back around. You were getting a lot more direct sound out of the PA without a whole lot of weird reflections.
“The only thing that was a problem in the new stadium was the positioning of their LED walls; they have four of them in the four corners. When we got into the upper deck on the sides, you get a really bad reflection off of the score board. But again, 95 percent of the people where they were seated didn’t get any of that at all, and we got nice coverage up to the top deck. There really wasn’t a bad seat in the house.”