It’s the question on the minds of USFL fans and, notably, super-fan Ken: where will the New Jersey Generals play home games? Ken’s interest in finding a suitable home stadium for the Generals led him to explore several options in New Jersey, from MetLife to SHI Stadium at Rutgers, Harrison Soccer Field, and even Princeton. Yet, according to him, none of these options seem to be embracing the USFL with open arms.
Enter Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey. Ken and his partner Jenn plan to evaluate the venue firsthand, attending a game of the Jersey Jackals, an independent baseball team, in the last week of August. On paper, Hinchliffe seems to have some factors going for it, not least of which is its recent $94 million renovation.
Capacity and Logistics
With a seating capacity of 10,000, Hinchliffe is not the largest of stadiums, but it’s intimate enough for the kind of family-friendly atmosphere Ken believes New Jersey would welcome. Parking remains an issue to be addressed, but it’s a logistical hurdle that could be managed, perhaps by additional investment from Fox Sports or other stakeholders.
A Rich History and Backstory
As a National Historic Landmark with a museum dedicated to the Negro Leagues, Hinchliffe Stadium comes with a rich backstory. This could offer a more layered and meaningful fan experience. It’s not just about the game; it’s about being part of a story that stretches back through decades of American sports history.
Location and Local Support
Paterson is home to nearly 158,000 people, making it a densely populated community ripe for a local fan base. The city itself, known as the “Silk City,” is rife with potential for fan engagement and branding opportunities. Given that around 30% of Paterson’s population is under 18, the Generals could count on plenty of young, energetic supporters, something that would surely delight players like Darius Victor.
Mutual Benefits and Investment
Should the Generals consider a two-year commitment to Hinchliffe, it might incentivize the city to invest in further upgrades, including additional seating options or parking solutions. This could create a symbiotic relationship, benefitting both the team and the community at large.
Ken is optimistic that Hinchliffe could serve as a viable alternative to the more ‘established’ venues. If the city and the team can come to a mutual agreement, this historic stadium may very well be the ideal backdrop for the New Jersey Generals’ resurgence in the USFL.
Whether or not Hinchliffe Stadium turns out to be the Generals’ future home, it’s clear that the search for the perfect venue is more than just about real estate; it’s about finding a community ready to embrace the team. And if Ken’s insights are anything to go by, Hinchliffe Stadium might just be the place to do it.