Giants Stadium

Giants Stadium

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Giants/Jets Stadium

location = 50 Route 120, East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073
broke_ground = 1972
opened = 1976
closed =
demolished =
owner = New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority
operator = New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority
surface = FieldTurf
construction_cost = $78 million
architect = HNTB
former_names =
tenants = New York Giants (NFL) (1976–2009)
New York Jets (NFL) (1984–2009)
MetroStars / New York Red Bulls (MLS) (1996–2008)
New Orleans Saints (NFL) (2005) (One Game)
New York Cosmos (NASL) (1977–1984)
New Jersey Generals (USFL) (1983–1985)
NY/NJ Knights (WLAF) (1991–1992)
NY/NJ Hitmen (XFL) (2001)
Garden State Bowl (NCAA) (1978–1981)
seating_capacity = 80,242

Giants Stadium, is the home stadium for the New York Giants and New York Jets football teams of the NFL, and the Red Bull New York soccer team of MLS. It is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which also hosts the Meadowlands Racetrack and the Izod Center (known as the Continental Airlines Arena until October 2007). Maximum seating capacity is 80,242, making it the second-largest NFL stadium behind FedEx Field. It is also the ninth-oldest stadium used by an NFL team. Giants Stadium will be closed and demolished in 2010 when the New Meadowlands Stadium opens.


Giants Stadium was the first major league sporting venue in New Jersey (though the Brooklyn Dodgers had played some home games in Jersey City in 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.

Because the Jets play in a stadium named for another NFL team, the Jets officially refer to the site as simply The Meadowlands, as do all official NFL and team game notes regarding Jets home games.

First year in business

Giants Stadium opened on October 10, 1976, as 76,042 fans witnessed a loss by the Giants to the Dallas Cowboys. College football made its debut at Giants Stadium on October 23, 1976, with Rutgers University defeating Columbia 47-0.

The Jets move in

The New York Giants played their first home game of the 1977 season (a 20-12 loss to the Baltimore Colts on September 25) at the stadium. [The NFL History Network [ 1977 Linescores] .]

In 1984, the Jets became co-tenants with the Giants, having departed their former home, Shea Stadium, in Queens. [Eskenazi, Gerald. [ "JETS, MINUS 2, GET SETTLED IN NEW HOME"] , "The New York Times", September 6, 1984. Accessed October 11, 2007. "The home opener, Thursday night at Giants Stadium here against the Pittsburgh Steelers, could mark the beginning of a 35-year tenancy under the Jets' lease with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority."]

Thanks largely to the dual occupancy of Giants Stadium by two NFL teams since 1984, it has surpassed Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Bears for fifty 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. [Cross, B. Duane. [ "The runaround: Sticking with ground game pays off in Week 2"] , "Sports Illustrated", September 14, 2003. Accessed August 6, 2008. "According to Elias Sports Bureau via Michael Eisen of the G-Men, the Dolphins-Jets game was the 366th NFL regular season game played in Giants Stadium, surpassing Wrigley Field in Chicago as the most frequently used stadium in NFL history (regular season only)."]

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; and the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL.

In the first game of the 2005 season, the New Orleans Saints used the stadium for a "home" game because of extensive damage to the Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.

College football games

The stadium has also hosted numerous college football games, including the Garden State Bowl from 1978-1981; 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 Dame-Navy and Notre Dame-Army games; and the Army-Navy Game on three occasions, most recently in 2002. Syracuse University 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 University, 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 University also played one home game at Giants Stadium (against Yale University) during the construction of Princeton's new stadium in 1997.

occer at Giants Stadium

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.

Seven games of the 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament were held at Giants Stadium (including the Italy v Bulgaria semi-final), along with several 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 and AC 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 has seen many European soccer tours in recent years, hosting games involving such major soccer clubs as Manchester United, Glasgow Rangers, Celtic F.C, Chelsea, Liverpool, F.C Barcelona, and many others.

Giants Stadium currently serves as home to Red Bull New York (formerly the New York/New Jersey MetroStars) of Major League Soccer.

Pope John Paul II at Giants Stadium

The 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.


Concerts have also been a part of the Giants Stadium experience, with notable acts such as Madonna, The Jacksons, U2, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, The Cure, The Eagles, Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Dave Matthews Band, The Police, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Billy Joel, Radiohead, Elton John, Genesis, Aerosmith, Guns N' Roses, Boston and Green Day, taking the stage before appreciative audiences.

Most of all, Giants Stadium as a concert venue is associated with Bruce Springsteen, who played there six nights in the summer of 1985 during his Born in the U.S.A. Tour and an even greater ten nights on his The Rising Tour during the summer of 2003. Springsteen returned to Giants Stadium on July 27, 28 and 31, 2008 in support of his Magic Tour.

In July of 1994, Pink Floyd performed their last ever North American concerts at this venue in support of their album The Division Bell. These concerts are noted as it was one of two U.S. venues where the band played The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety on the US leg of the tour. These shows are available on bootleg.

On July 7, 2007 Giants Stadium was one of the hosts to the Live Earth concerts. Several artists performed at the concert including Bon Jovi, KT Tunstall, Kanye West, and The Police, just to name a few.

The majority of the "Paradise City" music video by Guns N' Roses was filmed at the stadium in 1988. There is also a major ski apparel equipment sale each year at the stadium.

The most concerts at Giants Stadium had played Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi

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. [Strauss, Robert. [ "WORTH NOTING; So Who Really Is Buried Under Giants Stadium?"] , "The New York Times", June 13, 2004. Accessed January 20, 2008. "For years, New Jersey lore has had the body of Mr. Hoffa, the longtime Teamsters president, interred somewhere under Giants Stadium, whose construction coincided roughly with his disappearance in 1975."] This led a wag in "Sports Illustrated" to suggest that "This lends new meaning to the term "coffin corner"!" In a similar vein, sportscaster Marv Albert once said that a team was "kicking towards the Hoffa end of the field." This urban myth was tested and found to be false in an episode of the television show "Mythbusters".

Changes and co-tenants

To accommodate these varied events, Giants Stadium has sported various playing surfaces in its history. AstroTurf was the original surface for the playing field. 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, however, installed a grass field each spring, but was removed prior to the football season, forcing the team to play its final home games each year on AstroTurf. The AstroTurf was removed in 2000 and a system of interchangeable grass trays was implemented from 2000 to 2002, but was considered a failure, since the quality of the field worsened as the NFL season progressed. Notably, this was the era when the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL played their games; XFL regulations required a grass surface, which Giants Stadium normally did not have. (Part of the problem may have stemmed from the fact that the original AstroTurf field was kept in place under the grass, to help in drainage.) It was replaced by a new artificial surface, FieldTurf, in 2003.

When the New York Jets left Shea Stadium and moved to Giants Stadium in 1984, many predicted the stadium would be renamed. Understandably, the Jets organization preferred not to reside in a facility named after another team. However, under the terms of the stadium lease, changing the name of the stadium requires the Giants' approval, and the Giants refused to change the name. The proposed new stadium is expected to bear a sponsor's name as bids for the naming rights are currently being accepted - it is not yet known if such an agreement will include renaming the current stadium if and when it is finalized.While the stadium has a decidedly blue atmosphere, matching the Giants' team colors, when the Jets play there, the walls are covered with green banners, matching their colors. In addition, the gates outside the stadium are covered with green Jets logos to hide the standard blue and red. As of 2007, both the Jets and Giants have returned to using color in the endzones (the "Jets" script is now a dark green, the "Giants" script is now blue), so the grounds crew must paint one logo on over the other when the stadium is being converted.

In mid-December, traditionally the stadium hosts 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 is a challenge for the stadium grounds crew, as they have only 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 is 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 NFL Preseason, and the teams rotate annually home/away.

Notable moments

*October 10, 1976: 76,042 fans witness the Giants losing to the Cowboys in the first game ever played at Giants Stadium.
*October 1, 1977: Soccer legend Pelé played his last game, an exhibition match between the Cosmos and Santos. He played the first half for the Cosmos and the second half for his old Brazilian team.
*November 19, 1978: Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik fumbles the handoff to Larry Csonka with just seconds remaining in the game, allowing Herman Edwards (later a Jets head coach) to scoop it up and run it back for a touchdown, giving the Philadelphia Eagles an improbable 19–17 win. This play would be known as "The Miracle at the Meadowlands," and helped lead to the hiring of Ray Perkins as head coach, and later George Young as general manager.
*September 6, 1984: The New York Jets move into Giants Stadium.
*July 14, 1985: The Baltimore Stars defeat the Oakland Invaders, 28–24, in the 1985 USFL Championship Game, the final game in league history.
*August - September 1985: Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band perform six sold out shows on the final leg of their Born in the U.S.A. Tour.
*January 11, 1987: The New York Giants shut out the Washington Redskins 17–0 in the NFC Championship game. Two weeks later, the Giants would win Super Bowl XXI, their first Super Bowl victory.
*June-July 1994: Giants Stadium serves as a venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, opening with Ireland's 1–0 win over Italy, and concluding with Italy's 2–1 win over Bulgaria in the semifinals.
*December 13, 1998: The New York Giants defeated the then-13–0 Denver Broncos.
*October 23, 2000: In what has been called the greatest game on Monday Night Football, the New York Jets come back from a 30–7 deficit by scoring 30 points in the fourth quarter and another 3 in overtime to beat the Miami Dolphins 40–37. The game is known as the Monday Night Miracle.
*January 14, 2001: On a field of painted mud, the New York Giants shut out and crushed the Minnesota Vikings 41–0 in the NFC Championship Game to send the Giants to their third Super Bowl.
*July-August 2003: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band break their own record with 10 sold-out shows on the Rising tour.
*September 1, 2005: The punk rock band Green Day sold out Giants Stadium with Against Me! and Jimmy Eat World. It was their biggest concert of all time (80,000 people)
*September 19, 2005: The New Orleans Saints played as the home team at Giants Stadium versus the Giants (in name only, of course; no more than a few thousand Saints fans had been evacuated to the area or otherwise traveled to New Jersey). The game was relocated from the Louisiana Superdome due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, and the inability to prepare one of the team's eventual temporary homes in time. Note the Saints used Giant Stadiums visitors locker rooms depite being the "Home" team.
*December 26, 2005: The New York Jets & The New England Patriots fight each other in a classic battle on the last Monday Night Football game on ABC. The Patriots defeat gang green 31–21.
*July 7, 2007: The "New York" portion of Live Earth, a worldwide series of concerts of pop and rock music featuring various bands and musical artists planned to inspire global warming activism, was held at Giants Stadium. Kenna, KT Tunstall, Taking Back Sunday, Keith Urban, Ludacris, AFI, Fall Out Boy, Akon, John Mayer, Melissa Etheridge, Alicia Keys, The Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Clarkson, Kanye West, The Smashing Pumpkins, Roger Waters, Bon Jovi and The Police all performed.
*August 18, 2007: 66,237 attended as the largest crowd ever for a regular-season MLS match at Giants Stadium (or any match between two MLS teams here). [ [ Home ] ] The MetroStars/Red Bulls previously had several matches with 50,000-65,000, and this day's match was also their highest attendance home or away for a regular-season match. This LA Galaxy versus Red Bulls match also set a new high for an MLS match that was not a part of a double-header, even beating the highest MLS Cup Final attendance (in 2002: 61,316).
*September 9, 2007: New England Patriots CB Ellis Hobbs set an NFL record by taking the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the New York Jets. The play also tied the record for the longest play in NFL history at the time, matching the 108-yard missed field goal returns by the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester against the Giants in 2006, and the Bears' Nathan Vasher the previous season against San Francisco.
*December 29, 2007: The New England Patriots closed out their undefeated 16-0 regular season at Giants Stadium. In the fourth quarter, Tom Brady threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Randy Moss, setting the NFL all-time record for most passing touchdowns in a single season at 50. On the same play, Moss set the record for most touchdown receptions in a single season at 23, breaking the record held previously by Jerry Rice. The Giants, eventually would defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
*Tuesday February 05, 2008: The New York Giants have a ceremony celebrating their Super Bowl XLII victory 2 days before, against the New England Patriots at Giants Stadium.

New stadium

On September 29, 2005, it was announced that Giants Stadium would be replaced with an $800 million stadium that is scheduled to be opened in 2010. The New Meadowlands Stadium will be nearby the current stadium. The New York Jets were planning a move to a new domed stadium on Manhattan's West Side sometime near the year 2010. However, with the political defeat in June 2005 of the West Side Stadium plan, the Jets ended up agreeing to share the new Meadowlands stadium with the Giants. The Giants and Jets hope the stadium will be built by 2010. Red Bull New York will not be part of the new stadium venture. They had already planned to vacate Giants Stadium for their own Red Bull Park stadium in Harrison, New Jersey sometime in 2009-10.

On January 25, 2007, Swedish construction company Skanska AB had announced that it received a $998 million order to design and build a new football stadium for the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The open-air stadium will seat 82,000 spectators and include 217 luxury suite boxes. The luxury suites will include several additional amenities, such as more ample space between rows which will help people arrive to their seat much easier and watch the game more comfortably. The overall atmosphere will be enhanced with comfortable couches, armchairs and several flat panel televisions. In addition, there will be several food stations that will differ considerably in comparison to other stadiums around the league. Fresh carving stations, sushi, and several bars are just a few options. Entering and leaving the stadium will be accessible through a private lobby, where club patrons will have access to reserved parking.

Once the New Meadowlands Stadium is completed, Giants Stadium will be demolished to make way for parking and possible expansion of the Meadowlands Xanadu complex. The next step for the Giants and Jets is to collaborate on getting their new stadium built while still playing games in Giants Stadium alongside the construction site. The Washington Post reported that Giants co-owner John Mara has said that the two clubs will have to address some problems arising from the loss of parking spaces. The Giants' other co-owner, Steve Tisch, has said: "It is a relief. But it sort of takes this off the table and the bigger issue is building the stadium."

One issue with the new Giants Stadium is the rising costs. Ticket prices will continue to rise in order to offset this tremendous cost. In addition, season ticket holders will have to pay a fee just in order to reclaim their seats, through the sale of Personal Seat Licenses or (PSL). A letter sent to season ticket holders from team owners John Mara and Steven Tisch dated June 26, 2008 stated that "Each seat in the new stadium will have a PSL. Over 90 percent of the upper level seats will have a $1,000 PSL. Less than 5,000 seats in the lower level will have a $20,000 PSL, which will be the most expensive PSL at the new stadium." One of the biggest questions towards offsetting the cost is acquiring a corporate sponsor to help pay for the Stadium via naming rights.

The Giants and Jets broke ground on the new $1.3 billion dollar stadium on September 5, 2007.


External links

* [ Meadowlands Sports Complex]
* [ New York Giants]
* [ New York Jets]
* [ New York Red Bulls]

succession box
title = Home of the
New York Giants
years = 1976 – 2009
before = Yankee Stadium
after = New Meadowlands Stadium (ca. 2010)
succession box
title = Home of the
New York Jets
years = 1984 – 2009
before = Shea Stadium
after = New Meadowlands Stadium (ca. 2010)
succession box
title = Home of
Red Bull New York
years = 1996 – 2008
before = first stadium
after = Red Bull Park (ca. 2009)
Succession box
title= Home of the
New Orleans Saints
(with Alamodome & Tiger Stadium)
years = 2005 "(One Game)"
before = Louisiana Superdome
after = Louisiana Superdome
succession box
title=CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final Venue
before=Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
after=Soldier Field Chicago

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