NFL on Super Bowl transit problems: A good lesson learned
It’s snowing hard now, but the weather in New York and New Jersey cooperated on Sunday to allow Super Bowl XLVIII to play out without any of the hassles many worried about on that front.
There were hassles getting to and from MetLife Stadium that had nothing to do with the weather, however. There were long delays at the Secaucus train station on the way to the game and jammed platforms at the stadium station after it was over as New Jersey Transit struggled to get thousands of people moving in a black eye for what was touted as the first mass transit Super Bowl.
On Monday morning, NFL executive Eric Grubman addressed the issues. Grubman said people made late decisions to take the train, leading to more than twice as many riders as anticipated, and said it was a “good lesson learned for all of us” about how to plan for all contingencies.
“I think that the underlying reason is that this is a first time for the way this system operates,” Grubman said, via Darryl Slater of the Newark Star-Ledger. “The second time somebody does something of this nature with this kind of planning, whether it’s a Super Bowl or a concert or a convention, moving that many people in that short a period of time, they’ll have different protocols. You could run buses and trains simultaneously from Secaucus, and there was a plan to do that.”
The question is whether or not there will be a second time. The snowstorm on Monday is a reminder of how well Sunday worked out and the transit issues highlight another logistical issue to take into account if and when there’s another bid for a New York/New Jersey Super Bowl.