Super Bowl: Arrivals OK, Delays Leaving

As the Super Bowl got underway, NJ Transit managed to transport a reported 28,000 riders to the stadium with only brief problems.  At the start of service, a large crowd of fans apparently tried to get on the first few trains, resulting in a back-up that took some time to clear.  One fan reported a half-hour delay in departure from New York Penn Station en route to the Secaucus transfer point; trains began running from Secaucus to MetLife Stadium at 1:41 p.m., almost 5 hours before game time, but some fans apparently wanted to arrive even earlier than that.  At Secaucus, riders not only had to transfer but also undergo security screening.  The weather was milder than in past days and the temperatures rose in the Secaucus concourse, leading to reports that a few riders had to be treated for heat problems.  Initial media reports that some had fainted were later contradicted. Lackawanna Coalition observers at New York Penn and at Secaucus reported that things were going quite smoothly, although ticket sales lines at New York could perhaps have been better organized and supervised.

After the game ended about 10 p.m., the 28,000 riders headed for trains to return home.  The huge crowd could not be accommodated immediately, and lines backed up; The Record newspaper reported at 10:35 p.m. that “thousands” of fans were queued up at the train-station entrance, and that security guards had formed human chains to control the flow.  Some riders complained that there was no effective control, “no lines at all,” and took to Twitter to voice their displeasure. The newspaper reported that “patience was wearing thin.”  Radio station WCBS reported at 11:58 p.m. that there was still a considerable crowd waiting to board trains—nearly two hours after the game ended, but it’s not clear how up-to-date the station’s information was: David Alan of the Lackawanna Coalition reported from Secaucus that crowds were thinning out as of 11:45 p.m.  An extra train to Dover at about that time was packed with riders, he noted. The Meadowlands station should be capable of loading up to three trains at once, but for an unknown reason only one train was reportedly loaded at a time.