Giants Stadium

Last updated
Giants Stadium
The Meadowlands
The Swamp
Giantsstadiumlogo.png
Giants Stadium aerial.jpg
An aerial view of the stadium
Address50 Route 120
Location East Rutherford, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°48′44″N74°4′37″W / 40.81222°N 74.07694°W / 40.81222; -74.07694 Coordinates: 40°48′44″N74°4′37″W / 40.81222°N 74.07694°W / 40.81222; -74.07694
Owner New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
Operator New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
Capacity 80,242 [1]
Surface AstroTurf (1976–1999)
Grass (2000–2002)
FieldTurf (2003–2009)
Construction
Broke groundNovember 30, 1972 [1]
OpenedOctober 10, 1976
ClosedJanuary 3, 2010 (final game)
DemolishedFebruary 4, 2010 – August 10, 2010
Construction costUS$78 million
($343 million in 2018 dollars [2] )
Architect Kivett and Myers [1]
Ewing Cole Erdman & Eubank [1]
Clauss & Nolan [1]
General contractor George A. Fuller Company [1]
Tenants
New York Giants (NFL) (1976–2009)
New York Cosmos (NASL) (1977–1984)
Garden State Bowl (NCAA) (1978–1981)
New Jersey Generals (USFL) (1983–1985)
New York Jets (NFL) (1984–2009)
New York/New Jersey Knights (WLAF) (1991–1992)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (NCAA) (1993)
New York Red Bulls (MLS) (1996–2009)
New York/New Jersey Hitmen (XFL) (2001)
New York Sentinels (UFL) (2009)
New Orleans Saints (NFL) (2005, one game)

Giants Stadium (sometimes referred to as Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands or The Swamp) was a stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The venue had been open between 1976 and 2010, and it primarily hosted sporting events and concerts in its history. The maximum seating capacity was 80,242. [3] The structure itself was 756 feet (230 m) long, 592 feet (180 m) wide and 144 feet (44 m) high from service level to the top of the seating bowl and 178 feet (54 m) high to the top of the south tower. The volume of the stadium was 64,500,000 cubic feet (1,830,000 m3), and 13,500 tons of structural steel were used in the building process while 29,200 tons of concrete were poured. [4] It was owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA).

Stadium place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events

A stadium is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a tiered structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.

East Rutherford, New Jersey Borough in New Jersey

East Rutherford is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 8,913, reflecting an increase of 197 (+2.3%) from the 8,716 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 814 (+10.3%) from the 7,902 counted in the 1990 Census. It is an inner-ring suburb of New York City, located 7 miles (11 km) west of Midtown Manhattan.

Meadowlands Sports Complex stadium

The Meadowlands Sports Complex is a sports and entertainment complex located in East Rutherford, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA).

Contents

In the early 1970s the New York Giants, who at the time were sharing Yankee Stadium with the New York Yankees baseball team, began looking for a home of their own. The Giants struck a deal with the fledgling New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in 1971 and ground broke on the construction of the new facility in 1972. The 1972 season was the Giants' last full season in Yankee Stadium, as the ballpark was closed for a massive reconstruction following the end of the Yankees' season. Since their new stadium would take a significant amount of time to finish, and they could not use their home facility due to the construction, the Giants moved out of state and played in New Haven, Connecticut at the Yale Bowl early in the 1973 season. After spending two years in New Haven, the Giants would return to New York for one final season in 1975 and shared Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens with the Yankees, New York Mets, and New York Jets. The Giants finally moved into their new home on October 10, 1976.

New York Giants National Football League franchise in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team plays its home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which it shares with the New York Jets in a unique arrangement. The Giants hold their summer training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

Yankee Stadium (1923) Now-demolished baseball stadium in The Bronx, New York City

The original Yankee Stadium was a stadium located in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. It was the home ballpark of the New York Yankees, one of the city's Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises, from 1923 to 1973 and then from 1976 to 2008. The stadium hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It was also the former home of the New York Giants football team from 1956 through the first part of the 1973–74 football season. The stadium's nickname, "The House That Ruth Built", is derived from Babe Ruth, the baseball superstar whose prime years coincided with the stadium's opening and the beginning of the Yankees' winning history. It has also been known as "The Big Ballpark in The Bronx", "The Stadium", and "The Cathedral of Baseball".

New York Yankees Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in the Bronx, New York, United States

The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one of two major league clubs based in New York City, the other being the New York Mets of the National League. In the 1901 season, the club began play in the AL as the Baltimore Orioles. Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the franchise and moved it to New York City, renaming the club the New York Highlanders. The Highlanders were officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.

Eight years after Giants Stadium opened, it gained a second major tenant. The Jets' lease at Shea Stadium, the home of the New York Mets, had expired at the end of the 1983 season and team owner Leon Hess was having trouble negotiating terms of a new lease to stay in Queens. The city of New York was unwilling to agree to his terms and Hess decided to move the Jets to the Meadowlands permanently (the team previously played a regular season game there in 1977). Their first game in Giants Stadium was on September 6, 1984. With the Jets now playing at the stadium, the grounds crew needed to find a way to set their games apart from Giants games and make them more inviting for their fans and eventually came up with a series of green and white banners and coverings that were hung over the field-level blue walls that circled the stadium and (later) the four entrance gates outside the stadium.

Leon Hess American oil executive, sports franchise owner

Leon Hess was the founder of the Hess Corporation and the owner of the New York Jets.

The sharing of the stadium by both the Giants and Jets enabled it to break a record that had long been held by Chicago's Wrigley Field. Entering the 2003 season, its 28th, Giants Stadium had played host to 364 NFL games, second only to the 365 played at Wrigley by the Chicago Bears in their 50 seasons there. The Giants' season opening game with the St. Louis Rams tied the record, and the following week the Jets' home opener against the Miami Dolphins broke it.

Wrigley Field Baseball stadium in Chicago, IL, US

Wrigley Field is a baseball park located on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. It is the home of the Chicago Cubs, one of the city's two Major League Baseball (MLB) franchises. It first opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park for Charles Weeghman's Chicago Whales of the Federal League, which folded after the 1915 baseball season. The Cubs played their first home game at the park on April 20, 1916, defeating the Cincinnati Reds with a score of 7–6 in 11 innings. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. of the Wrigley Company acquired complete control of the Cubs in 1921. It was named Cubs Park from 1920 to 1926, before being renamed Wrigley Field in 1927.

Chicago Bears National Football League franchise in Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. The Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise.

Miami Dolphins National Football League franchise in Miami, Florida

The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. The Dolphins compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium in the northern suburb of Miami Gardens, Florida, and are headquartered in Davie, Florida. The Dolphins are Florida's oldest professional sports team. Of the four AFC East teams, they are the only team in the division that was not a charter member of the American Football League (AFL).

Giants Stadium was also home to the New York Cosmos, a professional soccer team that attracted record crowds during the late 1970s. The New York/New Jersey MetroStars (later the New York Red Bulls) of Major League Soccer, later played in the stadium from 1996 to 2009.

New York Cosmos (1970–85) American former association football club

The New York Cosmos was an American professional soccer club based in New York City and its suburbs. The team played home games in three stadiums around New York before moving in 1977 to Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, where it remained for the rest of its history. Founded in December 1970, the team competed in the North American Soccer League (NASL) until 1984 and was the strongest franchise in that league, both competitively and financially – based largely around its backing by Warner Communications President Steve Ross, which enabled it to sign internationally famous stars such as the Brazilian forward Pelé, Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and the West German sweeper Franz Beckenbauer. The acquisition of these foreign players, particularly Pelé, made the Cosmos into what Gavin Newsham called "the most glamorous team in world football", and contributed to the development of soccer across the United States, a country where it had previously been largely ignored.

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Giants Stadium was closed following the 2009 NFL season following the construction of what is now MetLife Stadium in the surrounding parking lot. The stadium's final event was the January 3, 2010 game featuring the Jets hosting the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football . A month after the game, demolition of the structure began and was completed on August 10, 2010. The New York Giants and New York Jets both moved to MetLife Stadium in 2010.

The 2009 NFL season was the 90th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL).

MetLife Stadium sports stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets

MetLife Stadium is an American football stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 8 miles (13 km) outside of New York City. It is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex and serves as the home stadium for two National Football League (NFL) franchises: the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The stadium is owned by the MetLife Stadium Company, a joint venture of the Giants and Jets, who jointly built the stadium using private funds on land owned by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The stadium opened as New Meadowlands Stadium in 2010. In 2011, MetLife, an insurance company based in New York City, acquired the naming rights to the stadium. At a construction cost of approximately $1.6 billion, it was the most expensive stadium ever built, at the time it opened.

Cincinnati Bengals National Football League franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Their home stadium is Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. Their divisional opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and the Baltimore Ravens.

History

Giants Stadium was the first major league sporting venue in New Jersey (though the Brooklyn Dodgers had played seven home games at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City in 1956 & 1957), and its success, along with that of the Giants in the 1980s was a major impetus behind increased pride and enthusiasm among New Jersey residents.[ citation needed ]

First year in business

Giants Stadium opened on October 10, 1976, as 76,042 fans witnessed a 24–14 loss by the Giants to the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants had played their first four games on the road that season. College football made its debut at Giants Stadium on October 23, 1976, with Rutgers University defeating Columbia 47–0 and extending their winning streak to 14 games. [5]

The New York Giants played their season-opening home game in the stadium on September 18 of the 1977 season (a 20–17 win over the Washington Redskins). [6]

Other pro football teams that have used Giants Stadium

Other professional football teams that have called Giants Stadium home over the years include the New Jersey Generals of the USFL; the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football; the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL and the New York Sentinels (who played one game at the stadium in the United Football League's inaugural season). The 1985 USFL championship game which turned out to be the last USFL game played was held at Giants Stadium.

In the second week of the 2005 season, the New Orleans Saints used the stadium for a "home" game against the Giants because of extensive damage to the Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. One end zone was painted in Saints colors, Saints banners were hung on the walls around the sidelines, and the Saints wore their home jerseys. The game was rescheduled to a Monday night with a special start time of 7:30 PM EDT, preceding the other scheduled game on Monday Night Football . [7] The Giants were normally not visitors at Giants Stadium unless they were playing the Jets.

College football games

The stadium hosted college football games, including the Garden State Bowl from 1978 to 1981; the Kickoff Classic from 1983 to 2002; the New York Urban League Classic since 1981; a number of Rutgers homes games (including all their home games during the 1993 season); several Notre DameNavy and Notre Dame–Army games; and the Army–Navy Game on three occasions, most recently in 2002. Syracuse also played two home games at Giants Stadium during the 1979 season, against West Virginia and Penn State, while the Carrier Dome was under construction. Columbia also played some home games at Giants Stadium in 1983, due to construction at its home stadium. Temple, needing a home field due to a schedule conflict with Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, used Giants Stadium as their home field versus Penn State in September 1996. Princeton also played one home game at Giants Stadium (against Yale) during the construction of Princeton's new stadium in 1997.

Soccer at Giants Stadium

A New York Red Bulls match at Giants Stadium in 2007 NY Red Bulls vs LA Galaxy.jpg
A New York Red Bulls match at Giants Stadium in 2007

Pelé played the final game of his career at the stadium on October 1, 1977.

The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League moved to Giants Stadium for the 1977 season and remained until the league folded in 1985. The NASL championship game Soccer Bowl '78 and Soccer Bowl '79 were held at Giants Stadium.

Seven games of the 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament were held at Giants Stadium (including the Italy v Bulgaria semi-final), along with four games of the 1999 Women's World Cup.

In 2003, the SuperCoppa Italiana, an annual match pitting the winners of Serie A (Italy's top division) and the Coppa Italia (Italian Cup), was held in Giants Stadium instead of in Italy because both clubs involved (Juventus F.C. and A.C. Milan) were touring the United States late in the summer, when the event is normally scheduled.

In 2005, the stadium played host to several matches in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, including the final, which saw the USA defeat Panama, 3–1 in a penalty shootout after the sides played to a scoreless draw. It again held the final 4 years later for the CONCACAF Gold Cup which saw Mexico defeat the USA 5–0.

It has seen many European soccer tours in recent years, hosting games involving such major soccer clubs as Manchester United, Celtic, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Rangers.

It also hosted England's 3–2 victory over Colombia on May 31, 2005. [8]

The New York Red Bulls (formerly the New York/New Jersey MetroStars) of Major League Soccer played at the stadium for their first 14 seasons. They moved to the soccer-specific Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison in 2010.

1994 FIFA World Cup matches

DateTime (UTC−5)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
1994-06-1816:00Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 0-1Flag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland Group E 75,338
1994-06-2316:00Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1-0Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Group E 74,624
1994-06-2519:30Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 2-1Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Group F 76,322
1994-06-2812:30Flag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland 0-0Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Group E 72,404
1994-07-0516:30Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1-1 (1–3 on pen.)Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Round of 16 71,030
1994-07-1012:00Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 2-1Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Quarter-final 72,000
1994-07-1316:00Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 1-2Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Semi-final 74,110

1999 FIFA Women's World Cup matches

DateTime (UTC−5)Team #1Res.Team #2RoundAttendance
1999-06-1915:00Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 0-3Flag of the United States.svg  United States Group A 78,972
1999-06-1917:30Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 7-1Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Group B 78,972
1999-06-2612:00Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 1-4Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Group C 29,401
1999-06-2614:30Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 3-1Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Group D 29,401

Pope John Paul II at Giants Stadium

The second largest crowd to ever attend an event at Giants Stadium was 82,948, as Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass during a rainstorm on October 5, 1995. The record was broken on September 24, 2009 with an attendance of 84,472 at the U2 concert.

Concerts

Giants Stadium in 2006 Giants Stadium 2006.jpg
Giants Stadium in 2006

The stadium played host to Amnesty International's final A Conspiracy of Hope Benefit Concert on June 15, 1986. The show was a sold-out, all-day event, running from noon until 11 p.m. and broadcast on MTV. The show was headlined by U2 and Sting and also featured Bryan Adams, Peter Gabriel, Joan Baez, The Neville Brothers and The Police. Additional artists that performed include John Eddie, with Max Weinberg, Third World, The Hooters, Peter, Paul and Mary, Steven van Zandt, with Bob Geldof, Stanley Jordan, Joan Armatrading, Jackson Browne, Rubén Blades, with Fela Kuti and Carlos Santana, Yoko Ono, Howard Jones, Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell. Spoken introductions were made by Billy Graham, Bill Bradley, Daryl Hannah, Robert De Niro, Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. Pete Townshend was scheduled to perform, but cancelled at the last minute, when his father, Cliff Townshend, became gravely ill, which would have been his first US solo appearance. This also marked The Police's final full-live performance together, until their 2007 Reunion Tour, 21 years later.

The stadium played host to The Tattoo the Earth Tour on July 20, 2000. The show featured performances by Slipknot, Slayer, Sevendust, Sepultura, Hed PE, Mudvayne, downset., Hatebreed, Full Devil Jacket, Famous, Amen, U.P.O., Nothingface, PPM, Cold, Relative Ash, Systematic, Six Feet Under, Candiria, Lamb of God, God Forbid, Darkest Hour, Unearth, All That Remains, Dropkick Murphys, Sick of It All, Tiger Army, Converge, The Unseen, Reach the Sky, Stretch Arm Strong, Kill Your Idols and Nashville Pussy, including the only appearance by Metallica during the tour and also featured 42 tattoo artists from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Malaysia, Manitoba, Spain, Switzerland and the US.

The stadium has also played host to music festivals, including The Monsters of Rock Festival, Music at the Meadowlands, Ozzfest and The Bamboozle (in the parking lot, annually, since 2003).

Dave Matthews Band played the stadium 9 times from 1998 to 2001, including three nights each in 2000 and 2001. On June 11, 2001 (the first of three nights), the band played the song "Two Step", where Dave Matthews sung the improvisational lyrics "let it rain", where then a thunderstorm broke out. This has been called "Two Step In The Rain" by fans, and can be heard on The Best of What's Around Vol. 1. When Matthews learned of the closing of Giants Stadium, he said "I can't imagine I'll ever fall in love with a stadium like I did with Giants Stadium."

Many locals say it is the home turf of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, due to the fact that they came from Freehold, New Jersey. Several songs on his 1986 live album Live/1975-85 were recorded at shows at the stadium in August 1985.

Springsteen wrote the song "Wrecking Ball" in response to the closing of the stadium and in 2009 performed it for the first time at the final five concerts at Giants Stadium. [9] It would go on to be the title track of his next studio album, released over two years later.

Seating Capacity

The seating capacity over the years went as the following:

YearsCapacity
1976–199076,891 [10]
1991–199377,311 [11]
199477,121 [12]
1995–199878,148 [13]
1999–200179,469 [14]
2002–201080,242 [15]

Demolition

Demolition work on Giants Stadium began at approximately 10:00 AM EST on February 4, 2010 at the Gate B spirals, the closest point to the new stadium. The demolition work was expected to cost more than $10 million and took approximately four months to complete. [16] [17] As of May 10, 2010 approximately 50% of the Stadium had been demolished. On May 19, 2010 at 8:30pm, demolition crews pulled down the press box, the highest part of the stadium. In the early afternoon of June 28, 2010, the last section of stadium grandstand came down, leaving just two later demolished upper level escalators standing.

Much of the stadium's memorabilia was sold to a sports memorabilia company, such as the framed pictures from the suites, all of the building's signage and a good portion of the saved bowl seats. Other property was liquidated to other NJSEA facilities such as the IZOD Center and Monmouth Park Racetrack.

Changes and co-tenants

Giants Stadium during a December 17, 2005 game between the Giants and Kansas City Chiefs Giants Stadium.jpg
Giants Stadium during a December 17, 2005 game between the Giants and Kansas City Chiefs

To accommodate these varied events, Giants Stadium sported various playing surfaces in its history. From its opening until the end of the 1999 NFL season, Giants Stadium sported an AstroTurf playing surface. This surface was covered by Bermuda grass sod for the World Cup in 1994, identical to that at the Rose Bowl where the other semifinal and the finals were held (so that both teams in the finals would have played on identical surfaces). The grass was removed after the World Cup, as it would have died in the New Jersey winter. The MetroStars installed a grass field with interchangeable trays each spring that was removed prior to football season, forcing the team to play the remainder of its season on the AstroTurf field used by the football teams. (When the New York Cosmos called Giants Stadium home, they played on the stadium's artificial surface and never used a grass field.)

The AstroTurf was replaced in 2000 by a system of interchangeable grass trays similar to those put in place for soccer, but was kept in place under the trays to aid in draining the field when it got wet. Over the next three years, the conditions would worsen as the season went on and the field quality was typically rated just as low as the old, hard AstroTurf had been. Giants Stadium finally scrapped the grass in favor of FieldTurf for the 2003 season, a surface which remained in place until the stadium closed.

The New York Jets left Shea Stadium and moved to Giants Stadium in 1984 after years of suffering under onerous lease terms imposed at the insistence of baseball's New York Mets. When they moved across the Hudson, many predicted the stadium would be renamed. While the Jets were attracted by the stadium's larger capacity (it held 15,000 more seats than Shea did in its football configuration), they were understandably displeased at the prospect of playing in a facility named after another team. However, under the terms of the stadium lease, changing the name of the stadium required the approval of the Giants, and they were unwilling to do so. As such, for years afterward the Jets referred to Giants Stadium as "The Meadowlands" whenever they played there.

Thanks largely to the dual occupancy of Giants Stadium by two NFL teams since 1984, it surpassed Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Bears for 50 seasons) as the venue to have hosted more NFL games than any other in league history. The game played between the Jets and Miami Dolphins on September 14, 2003 was the 366th regular season NFL game at Giants Stadium breaking Wrigley's regular season record. [18]

Since the stadium was originally built for the Giants, the stadium's lower walls were blue and the seats and the stadium's four gates were red and blue to reflect the team colors. When the Jets moved in, green banners were hung over the walls and eventually over the outer gates of the stadium anytime the team hosted a game. [19] In addition, team-specific end zone decorations would be changed for Jets home games. This was accomplished by either painting over the Giants logos, or replacing the turf section of each end zone. Midfield decorations at the 50-yard line were typically not team-specific (in early years a Meadowlands logo, and later an NFL shield), which could be used for both teams' games.

In mid-December, traditionally the stadium hosted a Saturday-Sunday NFL doubleheader, with the Giants playing a home game one day and the Jets playing the other. The night between the games was a challenge for the stadium grounds crew, as they only had hours to convert the stadium from one team's colors to the other. As per the NFL schedule, the Giants and the Jets play each other once every four years. In that case, there was a predetermined home team, and a predetermined away team. In those games, the away team gets a rare away game in their own home stadium. The Giants and Jets typically play each other every year in the third week of the NFL Preseason, and the teams annually rotated the home and away teams.

The Jimmy Hoffa urban legend

For some years, a popular urban legend purported that the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, whose disappearance coincided with construction of the stadium, had been buried under one of the end zones at the field. [20] This led Sports Illustrated to suggest that this "takes on special meaning when a punter goes for the 'coffin corner.'" [21] In a similar vein, sportscaster Marv Albert once said that a team was "kicking towards the Hoffa end of the field." This was tested by the Discovery Channel show MythBusters , and they were unable to find any sign of a body. Furthermore, no human remains were found during the demolition of stadium in 2010.

Notable moments

New York Jets playing at Giants Stadium, November 2001 Giants Stadion.jpg
New York Jets playing at Giants Stadium, November 2001

Giants Stadium is featured in the 2008 film, The Day the Earth Stood Still , where it is destroyed by nanites. [64]

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The 2011 NFL season was the 92nd regular season of the National Football League. It began on Thursday, September 8, 2011, with the Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay Packers defeating the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints 42–34 at Lambeau Field and ended with Super Bowl XLVI, the league's championship game, on February 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis where the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21–17.

2011 New York Giants season

The 2011 New York Giants season was the 87th season for the team in the National Football League. They played all of their home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Although the team did not improve on their 10–6 mark from 2010, the Giants were able to qualify for the playoffs, and in another cinderella run that paralleled what they did in 2007, they won Super Bowl XLVI, marking the fourth time in team history that they won a Super Bowl.

Giants–Jets rivalry

The Giants–Jets rivalry is an American football rivalry in the National Football League (NFL) between the New York Giants and New York Jets. It is an intra-city, interconference matchup between the two NFL teams based in the New York metropolitan area. Since 1984, both clubs have been the only teams in the league to share a stadium at the same time. Thus, a Giants–Jets game can be referred to as "the shortest road trip in the league". It can also be referred to as a "sibling rivalry" since both teams play at and share the stadium.

The National Football League (NFL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are respectively the most popular professional and amateur football organizations in the United States. The National Football League was founded in 1920 and has since become the largest and most popular sport in the United States. The NFL has the highest average attendance of any sporting league in the world, with an average attendance of 66,960 persons per game during the 2011 NFL season. The NFL championship game, the Super Bowl, is among the biggest events in club sports worldwide. It is played between the champions of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC), and its winner is awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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Preceded by
Shea Stadium
Home of the
New York Giants

1976–2009
Succeeded by
MetLife Stadium
Preceded by
Shea Stadium
Home of the
New York Jets

1984–2010
Succeeded by
MetLife Stadium
Preceded by
Yankee Stadium
Home of the
New York Cosmos

1977–1985
Succeeded by
last stadium
Preceded by
first stadium
Home of the
New York Red Bulls

1996–2009
Succeeded by
Red Bull Arena
Preceded by
Louisiana Superdome
Home of the
New Orleans Saints
(with Alamodome & Tiger Stadium)

2005 (One Game)
Succeeded by
Louisiana Superdome
Preceded by
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final Venue

2005
Succeeded by
Soldier Field
Chicago
Preceded by
Soldier Field
Chicago
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final Venue

2009
Succeeded by
Rose Bowl
Pasadena
Preceded by
Soldier Field
Edward Jones Dome
Host of NFC Championship Game
1987
2001
Succeeded by
RFK Stadium
Edward Jones Dome
Preceded by
Tampa Stadium
Host of the
United States Football League championship game

1985
Succeeded by
None