World of Sport

75-year-old fan builds huge replica of Giants Stadium

World of Sport

New York Giants fans wept openly when the club's famous Giants Stadium was torn down two years ago.

But they can dry their tears at last: the iconic venue has now been re-created in what must be the ultimate fan tribute to a sporting venue.

New Jersey-based Giants fan Don Martini has spent two years and $20,000 building an astonishing - and huge - replica of the 80,000 seat ground in his garage.

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"I'm Mr Giants fan. I don't think there's any more avid fan than me," explains 75-year-old Don.

"I'm sure there are a lot of other crazy guys like me. But not more so, that's for sure."

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The stadium recreation is 20' long, 17' wide and 6' tall at the tops of the towers. It has fully-functioning floodlights, working lifts, a working Jumbotron screen and even a model train that travels to and from the station. There are even tiny tables for the teams at the sides of the pitch with Gatorade buckets on top.

The only detail which is less than exact is the seating: Don hand-made all the tiny seats for the stadium, but a minor miscalculation meant that he only had space for 65,000.

"I know, there should be 80,000," Martini told the New Jersey Star Ledger. "But there's only so much room inside."

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Don's long-suffering wife Janice takes it all in good humour, and is even proud of her husband's achievement.

"People think he's nuts," she said. "But everyone who comes in here says 'Oh my God' once they actually see it. They think it's going to be this little model, and it takes them aback."

Don has been retired for 15 years after patenting a device to build cabinets, and as well as his stadium he has built a series of extraordinary model trains, miniature waterfalls and other models in his back garden.

His son, Don Jr, explains that there is no stopping him once a new project is under way. "When he gets an idea in his head, even if it's the craziest thing, he doesn't stop until it's done."

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