Located just five miles west of New York City in East Rutherford, New Jersey, stands MetLife Stadium. It is the home of two of New York’s biggest teams, the Jets and the Giants. With an impressive seating capacity of 82,500, it is one of the largest stadiums in the NFL and the reason why it hosts many of the world’s most significant events. Keep reading to learn more about its history and why you should make it a point to visit.
History of the MetLife Stadium
As the Giant’s home stadium reached its 30th year, it had become one of the older sports arenas in the NFL, so management had the choice to either overhaul the existing structure or construct a new one. The Jets, who also used the Giants Stadium, proposed building one in Manhattan. The original plans had the main stadium for the team set at 85,000 seats but later downsized it to 75,000. However, there was a great deal of pushback from many sources, such as Cablevision. Also, the public funding needed was too high, so the project was scrapped.
Instead, the Jets made a joint agreement with the Giants, with the two as equal partners, to construct the new MetLife Stadium in the space adjacent to the Giants Stadium. When it finished construction in 2010, it was one of the country’s most expensive NFL stadium builds, costing a whopping $1.6 billion and covering 2.1 million square feet.
The stadium also boasts over 200 suites on four separate levels, designed by the David Rockwell Group, each housing 16 – 24 seats and 10,000 club seats.
Named one of Billboard’s Highest Grossing Stadium of the Year nine times for good reason, this stadium has hosted over 3,000 major and special events in the past decade.
Events include WrestleMania 29 and 35, Super Bowl XLVIII, the 2021 Army-Navy Game, the Copa America Centenario Final, many concerts, college football games, and soccer matches.
The MetLife Stadium holds several other honors, such as being the first NFL stadium to join the UN’s Sports for Climate Action Framework. This global project aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases around the globe. In 2013, this stadium was also the first NFL stadium to be certified by the US Department of Homeland and has ranked number one for safety for nine consecutive years on Security Magazine’s Security 500 list in the Spectator Sports Facility division.
The Design of the MetLife Stadium
When designing the MetLife Stadium, the architects worked meticulously to merge the distinct styles of the New York Jets and Giants. The Jets were looking for a sleek modern look with metal and glass, while the Giants wanted a more traditional feel with exposed steel and rustic stonework.
Inspiration was taken from the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, which was once shared by two of the biggest names in European soccer, Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich.
The final design uses glass towers styled after Manhattan’s skyscrapers, with the stadium’s base made of limestone stonework. The outer skin is made of glass and aluminum louvers with lighting that changes according to the team playing, green for the Jets and Blue for the Giants.
Due to a funding dispute, the MetLife Stadium does not have a roof, unlike the newer NFL stadiums, and that is why it cannot hold indoor events like the Final four.
There are ten massive HD LED towers located at the four corners of the stadiums that are 54 feet high by 20 feet across that show all the actions of the teams playing on the field.
As it is a shared stadium, the NFL logo is painted midfield, and the front row seats on the 50-yard line are only 46 feet from the sideline, making it the shortest distance compared to other NFL stadiums.
In 2012, the DLR Group installed a Solar Ring on the upper rim of the MetLife Stadium in partnership with NRG Energy. This ring consists of 1,350 building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar panels constructed together into 47 frames generating about 350 KW, almost 25 times the electricity needed to power up the LED display system. These BIPV panels light up in various colors, from the Jets’ signature green and blue colors to other hues for concerts, soccer matches, and college games.
All You Can Eat at the MetLife Stadium
The MetLife Stadium houses a variety of concession and portable stands that are sure to satisfy the pickiest of eaters. With offerings from names like Bubba Burgers, Thumann’s, Mrs. Fields, and Premio, this stadium is packed with mouthwatering classics and healthy alternatives. You name it, you will find it here, from Korean Pulled Pork, Cheesesteaks, Gyros, and Tacos to popcorn, hot dogs, cookies, and pizzas. The menu constantly updates with new restaurants and items coming and going. No game is complete without a selection of beers from around the world and non-alcoholic options available throughout the stadium.
As the home to the New York Jets and Giants, the MetLife Stadium takes great pride in its heritage and construction, which is why stadium tours are available so that everyone can get a chance to see what happens behind their screens.
The 90-minute guided tours include visits to premium spaces like the Press Box, the Commissioners Club, the Luxury Suites, and out onto the field. The tour is entertaining and educational, making it an excellent activity for all ages.
Public tours are available on Saturdays, while private group tours can be arranged Monday through Thursday but have to be booked at least a week in advance.
The MetLife Stadium is more than just a sports arena; it can also be home to your next private event. The stadium offers up its space, executive chef, and staff to your hosting requirements, including corporate events, product launches, team building activities, birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, proms, graduations, fundraisers, trade shows, and so much more. You can use their fireside lounges, rustic wine bars, or even hang out on the field.
The MetLife Stadium is a marvel of engineering where architectural style meets form and deserves your attention. So if you are in the New York City area, consider a quick stop at the MetLife Stadium for a guided tour. If you’re a sports fan, then make it a point to grab some game tickets and round up family and friends, and enjoy the game right in the stadium. You are sure to enjoy every moment.