You can now buy and use a single train ticket to ride from stations on the Long Island Rail Road all the way to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey, home of Giants Stadium, a new football stadium to be named later, and the Izod Center (as well as the Meadowlands Racetrack and the unfinished Xanadu).
But be careful – even though New Jersey Transit will be running trains to the Meadowlands for events other than Giants and Jets football games, the LIRR thru-tickets are only “officially” valid for football game days. This may have something to do with the fact that, as the LIRR notes, you must show your rail ticket at the fare gates at Secaucus Junction, instead of feeding it through the turnstile, since the LIRR ticket stock does not have the magnetic stripe like the NJT ticket stock.
Read all about this LIRR/NJT joint ticketing initiative here: http://mta.info/lirr/pubs/TrainToTheGame/. That LIRR web page even features a nifty diagram of part of Penn Station, to help people make the LIRR -> NJT transfer. The other part of the graphic is an extremely simple route diagram of the rail service. You can see them below:
Click to see a bigger version
Oh, and Metro-North is doing the same thing. Even though they are running direct trains from the New Haven line to Secaucus Junction on the days of Sunday 1 PM games, you can also buy a joint ticket from any Metro-North station that you can use to get all the way to the Meadowlands. You will of course need to get from Grand Central Terminal to Penn Station New York in order to board a New Jersey Transit train to Secaucus. The brochure linked to in my recent post on this topic explains things in much much greater detail.
P.S. And no, you can’t buy an LIRR ticket from Penn Station New York to the Meadowlands. I know, because I tried it this evening. Would have been (pointlessly) cool though, in a railfanning kind of way.
Update: Here’s a good Newsday article on the topic of the joint-ticketing.