The opening regular season game in the new Meadowlands Stadium matches two teams—the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers—that were the textbook definition of “mediocre,” 8-8, in 2009. Three big questions for the Giants: Will Eli Manning ever develop into the superstar the Giants are paying him to be? Will any one of the four new wideouts take the double coverage heat off Steve Smith, who caught 107 passes last season? Can new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell restore the defensive unit to glory that was 30th out of 32 teams in points allowed last year? As usual, NFL tickets don’t come cheap, but decent seats can be had on StubHub starting at $148. Finally, after all these years, public transportation is actually the recommended method of getting there. (And they mean it: Only vehicles with pre-paid parking permits—i.e., season tickets—will be allowed to park at the stadium.) A new rail station at the stadium connects to both New Jersey Transit and MetroNorth.

Sun., Sept. 12, 1 p.m., 2010