(Editor Comments at end)
Editor Comments: Why I understand Pete's love of the old grandstand with regards to the amenities for the owners and the convenience to do his job, I shed no tears for the old grandstand. I never warmed up to old grandstand since it was initially opened back in 1976. I will admit, when it first opened, back when cashing windows were on he opposite side of the teller's area (and selling windows were designated by dollar amount) there was some panache thanks to the neon signs over the teller's bays but once those signs were eliminated, the grandstand lacked any character; it was a hulking behemoth of steel and lacked any character, As time moved on, it became even more undesirable as the facility started to look frayed with concession stands closing and even fewer people attending; the place started looking like a mausoleum.
Don't get me wrong, I like older facilities. I loved the old Freehold grandstand prior to the big fire. To this day, the new grandstand is a slab of concrete; I look back fondly for the days of the bubbles which were used during reconstruction. Yet, I realize the times have changed. Your don't get the attendance racing used to get so there is a need to right-size grandstands. Not only do you lose the mausoleum feeling, it is much more efficient to maintain. With the old grandstand, you needed air conditioning or heating,insurance, and manpower for unused areas, all year long. The taste of the customer has long changed. A facility which is built solely for racing will not attract younger generations; there needs to be another reason for them to attend. And remember, without customers there is (or shouldn't be) no business..
Time marches on. While getting to the paddock may be harder, the Meadowlands has provided new amenities for owners. Reality trumps nostalgia.