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Parking at the American Dream mall on game night was pricey and confusing

CALVINATOR

Nov. 05, 2019

If you wanted to go to American Dream mall before Monday’s Giants game -- the first major event at MetLife Stadium since its new neighbor partially opened last month -- it cost you. And getting there wasn’t easy.
The ticket machines to charge for parking at the mega-mall were finally up and running -- a week later than American Dream said they would be -- just in time for the 8:15 p.m. game pitting the Big Blue against the Cowboys.
A spokeswoman for the mega-mall said it would only be charging for parking on game nights, for now. Parking at the complex at other times will remain free -- though, eventually you’ll have to pay no matter when you go. The spokeswoman said she did not know how long the free parking will last.
Only one lot was designated for visitors to Nickelodeon Universe , the indoor theme park at American Dream and one of only two attractions at the mall that are open. (The other is The Rink , an NHL regulation-sized ice skating rink).
A parking attendant said Monday at about 4:30 p.m. that the garage was the only lot for people who wanted to visit the mall.
The other lots, including one under the ski slope where I’ve parked for each of my visits to American Dream -- was for people who had parking permits for the game.
The rate for parking in the Nickelodeon Universe-designated garage matched the Giants game parking fee -- $30. But I was told that I could have my parking ticket validated at the Nickelodeon Universe counter.
Traffic was minimal getting into the complex, but finding my way to American Dream wasn’t easy. I was detoured and forced to make turns at intersections that sent me well out of my way.
Drivers honked at me as I tried to figure out what each sign meant and if this latest fork in the road would finally lead me to American Dream.
After a forced right just before the former Izod Center, and left at the next light, I followed a sign to lots E,F and G where I finally found the lot for Nickelodeon Universe -- it’s known as the B/C garage, a worker told me.
For those who are lucky enough to find their way here and have game tickets, American Dream is offering a special $30 rate for admission to Nickelodeon Universe for people who have tickets for the Giants game Monday night.
It’s unclear if American Dream will run specials for other home football games.
“We’re going to be running promotions on a case by case basis,” said Dana McHugh, public relations director for American Dream. “We’re excited to announce this is our first surrounding Monday Night Football.”
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