Among NFL Stadiums, MetLife is unique due to the fact that it’s the only facility to host two teams – the New York Giants and the New York Jets. Currently, it’s the most expensive stadium ever built, constructed with a price tag of $1.6 billion. MetLife is likely to remain the costliest stadium in the world until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which include the $2 billion National Stadium as an infrastructure program at an estimated cost of $2 billion.
Part of the reason why this project was possible is fact that the price was split evenly among the two teams. One of the main sticking points for their previous arrangement at Giants Stadium was the fact that it was under the authority of the Giants, who understandably refused to alter the facility to reflect the colors of the New York Jets. Jets signage was used to cover up Giants colors and logos, but the stands still comprised of red and blue seats. The new facility was created with the ability to shine the colors of the home team, enabling a smoother transition between the two hosts.
MetLife started out as the New Meadowlands Stadium, with ground breaking for construction on September 5th, 2007. The first event hosted at the New Meadowlands was the Big City Classic college lacrosse competition. MetLife purchased the naming rights to the stadium in 2011. Only the AT&T Stadium has a greater attendance capacity for NFL games. MetLife Stadium has a lower bowl capacity of 33,346, mid-bowl of 21,323 and an upper bowl that holds 27,897. This facility also boasts 218 luxury seats as well as 10,005 club seats.
Originally meant to be the main venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics, the original design called for 85,000 seats, which was scaled down to 75,000 seats when London was chosen as the host. Since MetLife Stadium is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Jets are occasionally referred to jokingly as the New Jersey Jets.
New York Giants And Jets Stadium
A 2010 NFL Players Association survey ranked the artificial turf of the MetLife Stadium to be both the fifth worst and the second best artificial playing field, showing that players either loved or hated the field. For the 48th Super Bowl in 2014, the surface was completely changed from FieldTurf to its current UBU Sports’ Speed Series turf, raising a more than a few eyebrows considering that the field was less than three years old at the time.
Custom illumination technology and an extensive louver system that measures 50 kilometers in length was inspired by Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, which has experience hosting two major sports teams at once. This makes it much faster and easier to switch rapidly from the logos and colors of one team to the next. After a player became injured by a removable logo shortly after MetLife Stadium opened, an NFL logo was sprayed at the center of the field instead. In terms of distance to the field from the first row of the 50-yard line, MetLife gets fans closer to the action than any other stadium, with the audience seated only 46 feet away from the sideline.
A series of twenty huge HD screens await patrons outside the entrances while on the inside four giant HD screens measuring 116′x30′ hang from each side of the upper deck. Due to funding issues, MetLife field is one of the few new NFL stadiums without a roof.
Since moving to MetLife, the Giants and the Jets both have a home record of 22-18, which is close to the 57.3% average home win percentage of the league as a whole.
Date Opened: April 10th 2010
Construction Cost: $1.6 billion
Architect: 360 Architects, Ewing Cole, David Rockwell and Bruce Mau Designs
Capacity Attendance: 65,000
Playing Surface: UBU Sports’ Speed Series S5-M Synthetic Turf
Previous New York Jets / New York Giants Stadiums
The New York Giants and the New York Jets are the only two NFL teams to utilize the same home field facility. These two franchises have done so since 1984. In fact, during the 1975 season, the Giants and the Jets shared Shea Stadium with the Yankees and the Mets. This unique situation was the result of a massive renovation of Yankee Stadium while Giants Stadium was in the process of finishing construction.
Polo Grounds was the initial home of the Giants between 1925 and 1955. They switched to Yankee Stadium between 1956 and 1973. Renovations in 1973 forced the Giants to play at the Yale Bowl for two years in New Haven, Connecticut – not far away from New Britain, which was where the Giants played their first game on October 4, 1925. After sharing Shea Stadium with three major professional sports franchises in 1975, Giants Stadium opened, welcoming the first three Super Bowl winning squads in their history.
The New York Jets also started their NFL journey at the Polo Grounds, although they ended up leasing the stadium after the Giants abandoned the facility in 1957 due to the ramshackle conditions that resulted from the combination of poor maintenance and the ravages of time. After spending their first four season at the Polo Grounds, they moved into Shea Stadium between 1964 and 1983.
As the Mets season continued to interfere with the Jets, negotiations were made for the Jets to play two home games annually at Giants Stadium, starting in 1978. Eventually, when the lease between Shea Stadium and the Jets expired, they moved in with the Giants, starting their decades-long partnership in infrastructure.
Other Major Events
Super Bowl XLVIII
After beating out Sun Life Stadium and Raymond James Stadium for the honor of hosting the 2014 Super Bowl, the event itself was one of the least exciting Super Bowls ever. The Denver Broncos were completely overwhelmed by the Seattle Seahawks, similar to Super Bowl XXIV, when the 49ers completely trounced the 1990 Broncos.
Best Catch Ever & The Butt Fumble
Within the span of two years, MetLife has witnessed what might be considered the best and the worst play in NFL history. Odell Beckham Jr.’s leaping, three-finger grab in 2014 defied physics and belief while Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble set an hilarious new low for ineptitude.
The main event of WrestleMania 29 was between John Cena and The Rock, who battled to determine who would leave the ring with the WWF Championship belt. Cena ended up winning this round, with The Rock suffering tendon tears around his adductor and abdominal muscles. CM Punk fought and lost to The Undertaker while Triple H and Brock Lesnar engaged in a no-holds-barred match in which Triple H would have to retire if he lost. Triple H won, preserving his career and legacy.