By Desirée Taylor
Senior Political Correspondent
Planes, trains and automobiles. You can pick your ride to MetLife Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, but organizers prefer you travel by mass transit because there’ll be very limited parking at the stadium and plenty of security restrictions.
Super Bowl XLVIII is billed as the first mass transit Super Bowl. NJ Transit officials say they have the infrastructure in place to handle the estimated 12,000 passengers expected to use the Meadowlands rail line at Secaucus train station.
“We extended the train platforms 120 feet, so they can now accommodate 10 cars, that being the same size that can be covered at MetLife Stadium. We will be able to move 1,300 people per train in seats, every time through here. It will make a dramatic difference for our customers as they come through before, during, and after the Super Bowl,” said NJ Transit spokesperson William Smith.
NJ Transit expects 40,000 people will take buses to the stadium. But roadways will likely be congested, especially with construction on Route 3. Another potential problem — weather.
“I hope it snows and it’s 25 degrees. That’s football weather,” said Kevin Sullivan. “They say they have it all planned out. Let’s hope so. Put them to the test and see the worst case senario.”
Getting people around on game day won’t be the only challenge. There are numerous events planned the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, which could cause a traffic nightmare for local residents and business owners. But folks we spoke with seem to be taking it all in stride.
“I am about one mile from the stadium. Absolutely think traffic concern. Just requires a little planning. Fortunately there are alternate routes to the office,” said Juan Delos Reyes.
“We’re hosting a party for Football Hall of Fame. All of those people will be shuttled to and from Redd’s,” said Redd’s Restaurant and Bar owner Douglas Palsi. When asked if he thinks it will be difficult to get all the hall of famers to the stadium, Palsi said, “I don’t think so. We’re a block away from stadium, we will get them here.”
VIPs have other options, such as a luxury Norwegian cruise liner, which Bud Light will transform into a special floating hotel. But for those who don’t have a ticket to the cruise or the game, local businesses hope fans will rush to their favorite bar or restaurant to watch the game.