Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

MetLife Stadium

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Broke ground  September 5, 2007
Opened  10 April 2010
Capacity  82,500
MetLife Stadium
Former names  New Meadowlands Stadium (2010–2011)
Location  East Rutherford, New Jersey
Public transit  Meadowlands Station:   Meadowlands Rail Line
Surface  UBU Speed Series S5-M (2013–present) FieldTurf (2010–2012)
Construction cost  $1.6 billion ($1.76 billion in 2017 dollars)
Address  1 MetLife Stadium Dr, East Rutherford, NJ 07073, USA
Owner  New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
Teams  New York Giants, New York Jets
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From giants to jets morphing metlife stadium


MetLife Stadium is an American sports stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex and serves as the home stadium for two National Football League (NFL) franchises: the New York Jets and the New York Giants. 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 is the most expensive stadium ever built and is the second-largest stadium in the NFL in terms of seating capacity.

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MetLife Stadium is until the 2019 opening of Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park the only NFL stadium shared by two clubs: the Jets and Giants. It and Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, home of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, are the only current facilities to house two teams from the same sports league in the United States.

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History

As Giants Stadium approached 30 years of age, it was becoming one of the older stadiums in the NFL. The Jets, who had been the lesser tenants at the stadium (which was called simply "The Meadowlands" for Jets games), sought to have their own stadium built in Manhattan proper, the proposed West Side Stadium. Originally intended to be the 85,000-seat main stadium for New York's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, it was designed to be downsized to 75,000 seats for the Jets. However, the West Side Stadium would have required significant public funding, which collapsed in 2005. The Jets then entered into a partnership with the Giants to build a new stadium in which the two teams would be equal partners.

Design

The stadium is distinguished by an outer skin of aluminum louvers and by interior lighting capable of switching colors, depending on which team is currently playing; blue for the Giants and green for the Jets. This idea originated at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, which is shared between the city's two major soccer clubs, Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich. Unlike Giants Stadium, MetLife Stadium can easily be converted from a Giants game to a Jets game or vice versa, within a matter of hours. The total linear length of louvers is exactly 50,000 meters (50 kilometers) or 163,681 feet (31.1 miles).

Front row 50 yard line seats are 46 feet (14 m) away from the sideline, which is the shortest distance of all NFL stadiums. To change the field decorations, two 4-person crews take appx. 18 hours using forklifts and other machinery to remove the 40 sections of FieldTurf which make up the teams' respective endzones. Unlike most NFL stadiums, the NFL's logo is painted at midfield, instead of the logo of one of the teams, also shortening the transition time. The replaceable team logos at midfield were removed in August 2010, after Domenik Hixon tore his anterior cruciate ligament at a practice at the stadium during training camp.

Unlike a number of other new NFL venues, MetLife Stadium does not have a roof, as proposals to include a roof failed, over a dispute for funding. Thus, indoor events such as the Final Four cannot be held at the facility, which runs counter to the original aims for a new stadium in northern New Jersey.

20 giant high-definition-ready light emitting diode (LED) pylons, located at the north and east entrances, display videos of the team currently in-house. The pylons measure approximately 54 feet (16 m) high by 20 feet (6.1 m) wide. Inside, are four 30 feet (9.1 m) by 116 feet (35 m) high definition video displays, and hang from each corner of the upper deck.

The new stadium has seating for 82,500 people, including 10,005 club seats and approximately 218 luxury suites, making it the second-largest NFL stadium in terms of total seating.

MetLife Stadium includes a total of four locker rooms: one each for the Giants and Jets, as well as 2 for visiting teams. The home teams have locker rooms on opposite ends of the stadium with a visitors' locker room adjacent to it; the unused visitors' locker room is used for spillover by the home team, on game days.

Lease terms

The two teams formed the New Meadowlands Stadium Company, LLC (now MetLife Stadium Company), a 50/50 joint venture, to build and operate the stadium. The two teams leased the parcel of land on which the stadium stands from the NJSEA for a 25-year term, with options to extend it which could eventually reach 97 years. After the 15th year of the lease, and every five years, hence; one of the 2 teams may opt out of the lease after giving the state 12 months notice. However, if one team leaves for a new stadium, the other team would have to remain for the remainder of the lease. Based on the teams' histories, this clause presumably allows the Jets to eventually decide they want to play in their own stadium and leave if they can find a way to finance it. However, the high cost of building and relocating to a new stadium makes this very unlikely (although the Jets have relocated their facilities to Florham Park, New Jersey). The teams also get parking revenue from the Meadowlands' western parking lots year round, even when there are no events at the stadium (this would occur when other parts of the Meadowlands host events).

Naming rights

Allianz, a financial services and insurance company based in Germany, expressed interest in purchasing naming rights to the stadium. The proposal was for a period of up to 30 years, and was estimated to be valued at between $20 million and $30 million USD. However, it sparked protests from New York's Jewish community (the largest outside of Israel) and the Anti-Defamation League, which opposed the move due to close ties in the past between Allianz and the government of Nazi Germany during World War II. However, Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum, secretary general of the North American Board of Rabbis, agreed that although survivors' sensibilities are understandable, a naming deal is legitimate. "I have found Allianz to be receptive, to be sensitive and a friend of the Jewish people today," he said. Allianz sponsors the venue that inspired the color-change technology for MetLife Stadium: Allianz Arena in Munich. No agreement was reached and talks between Allianz and the teams ended on September 12, 2008.

On June 27, 2011, it was reported that insurance company MetLife entered discussions to purchase naming rights to the stadium. The new name, MetLife Stadium, became official when all parties signed a 25-year deal on August 23.

EPA agreement

In June 2009, the New Meadowlands Stadium Corporation and the EPA signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines plans to incorporate environmentally-friendly materials and practices into the construction and operation of MetLife Stadium. The agreement includes strategies to reduce air pollution, conserve water and energy, improve waste management, and reduce the environmental impact of construction. The goal of the agreement is to save the emission of nearly 1.68 million metric tons of carbon dioxide during the stadium's construction and its first year of operation. Under this agreement, the stadium construction must use around 40,000 tons of recycled steel, recycle 20,000 tons of steel from Giants Stadium, install seating made from recycled plastic and scrap iron, and reduce air pollution from construction vehicles by using cleaner diesel fuel, diesel engine filters, and minimizing engine idle times. Other goals of this agreement include providing mass transit options for fans and replacing traditional concession plates, cups and carries with compostable alternatives. The New Meadowlands Stadium Corporation is to report the progress on its goals to EPA every six months. Based on the reports, the EPA has stated it will quantify the benefits of the venue's environmental efforts.

Transportation

MetLife Stadium is accessible via Exit 16W on the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike and is also located adjacent to Route 3 and Route 120. Coach USA provides bus service between the stadium and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The Meadowlands Rail Line operates on event days between the newly constructed Meadowlands Station and Hoboken Terminal via Secaucus Junction, where there is connecting service to Pennsylvania Station (New York City), Pennsylvania Station (Newark), and other New Jersey Transit rail operations. The line opened to the public on July 26, 2009.

Firsts and notable moments

  • The first event at the stadium was the Big City Classic lacrosse event, held on April 10, 2010.
  • September 12, 2010: The Giants host the first NFL regular season game in the stadium's history against the Carolina Panthers, winning 31–18.
  • September 13, 2010: The Jets play their first game at the stadium, against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, losing 10–9.
  • November 14, 2010: The stadium encounters two power outages during a game featuring the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. The game is delayed about eight minutes.
  • December 19, 2010: The Philadelphia Eagles stage a comeback against the Giants in what has become known as the Miracle at the New Meadowlands, coming back from being down 31–10 with about eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter to win 38–31, capped off by DeSean Jackson's game winning punt return when time expires.
  • September 11, 2011: On the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a ceremony is held prior to the game between the Jets and the Dallas Cowboys honoring the victims of the attacks. The Jets defeated the Cowboys 27–24.
  • December 24, 2011: The visiting Giants defeat the hosting Jets 29–14 in what is the biggest regular season match-up between the two New York teams in recent years, due to postseason implications for both sides. The victory helps propel the Giants into the playoffs while contributing significantly to eliminating the Jets from a postseason appearance.
  • January 8, 2012: MetLife Stadium hosts its first NFL playoff game, with the Giants defeating the Atlanta Falcons 24–2 in an NFC Wild Card game, en route to their Super Bowl XLVI championship.
  • November 22, 2012: During a 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez runs into the backside of teammate Brandon Moore, fumbling the ball, and leading to a Patriots touchdown, in an infamous play known as the butt fumble.
  • On November 23, 2014: During a 31-28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. snagged a 43-yard one-handed touchdown catch from Eli Manning early in the second quarter. The catch, which was completed with only three fingers while Beckham was being interfered with, has been hailed by Cris Collinsworth, Tony Dungy, Victor Cruz, and LeBron James as the best catch of all time.
  • Super Bowl XLVIII

    On May 25, 2010, it was announced that Super Bowl XLVIII was awarded to the stadium, the first time a Super Bowl would be played in the New York metropolitan area, and the first time that a non-domed stadium in a cold-weather city would host it.

    The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43–8 for their first Super Bowl victory, when MetLife Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014. The NFL requires that a Super Bowl hosting stadium must have an average temperature of 50° or higher in February or be held in an indoor climate-controlled facility. However, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell waived this requirement. The stadium was allowed on the ballot because of a "unique, once-only circumstance based on the opportunity to celebrate the new stadium and the great heritage and history of the NFL in the New York region".

    WrestleMania 29

    On April 7, 2013, WWE's 29th annual flagship event, WrestleMania 29 was held at MetLife Stadium. It drew 80,676 fans which put it ahead of SummerSlam 1992 (80,355) and WrestleMania 23 (80,103) and in third place behind WrestleMania III (93,173) and WrestleMania 32 (101,763) on the list of highest ever WWE attendances.

    The main event was John Cena challenging WWE Champion The Rock. Also featured was CM Punk versus The Undertaker. The penultimate match was Triple H versus Brock Lesnar in a no-holds-barred match.

    WrestleMania XXIX garnered 1,048,000 PPV buys, 205,000 fewer than the previous year's event. The event set a new record for the highest grossing live event in WWE history, grossing $72 million.

    International soccer

    The first international exhibition match was between Mexico and Ecuador on May 7, 2010 in front of 77,507 fans. The stadium hosted another international exhibition soccer match between the United States and Brazil on August 10, 2010. Brazil won 2–0 in front of a near-sellout crowd of 77,223; the game was played on a temporary grass field. The stadium hosted another international friendly, between the United States and Argentina on March 26, 2011, which ended in a 1–1 draw and was played in front of a sellout crowd of 78,926. Another exhibition match in preparation for 2014 FIFA World Cup was played on November 14, 2012 between Colombia and Brazil, with Brazil acting as the local team despite a higher affluence of Colombian fans.

    On June 26, 2016, the stadium hosted the Copa América Centenario Final, a special 100th anniversary edition of the Copa América, organized jointly by CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, hosted by the USA, and the first to take place outside South América. Chile beat Argentina 4–2 on penalties after a 0–0 draw after extra time to claim their second consecutive Copa América Championship.

    On August 3, 2016, MetLife Stadium hosted a 2016 International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and F.C. Bayern Munich. Real Madrid won the game 1–0.

    Other events

    On October 16, 2010, Rutgers hosted Army in the first college football game to be played in the new stadium, with the Scarlet Knights defeating the Black Knights in overtime, 23–20. During the game's second half, Rutgers player Eric LeGrand was injured on a special teams play, defending a Rutgers kickoff, and paralyzed from the neck down.

    The stadium hosted the 12th Siyum HaShas, a celebration of the completion of the Talmud through the 7 12-year Daf Yomi study program, on August 1, 2012. At 93,000 seats, it was the highest capacity crowd in the stadium's history, due to on-field seating and a ticket sell-out. The siyum was a Department of Homeland Security level two security event, the most critical short of a presidential visit.

    On September 7, 2012, the stadium hosted the first New York's College Classic game, with the visiting USC Trojans defeating the Syracuse Orange, 42–29. Syracuse has relocated three of its home games from the Carrier Dome to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey under the banner of New York's College Classic, losing all three games; a fourth was played against Notre Dame in September 2014.

    Since 2012, the stadium has been the main site of the two-day electronic music festival Electric Daisy Carnival's stop in the New York Metropolitan Area bringing electronic acts such as Armin Van Buuren, Hardwell, Porter Robinson, Tiesto, and many more.

    On September 27, 2014, Syracuse Orange hosted Notre Dame Fighting Irish in their fourth New York's College Classic, which boasted 76,802 fans in attendance. Syracuse lost their fourth straight classic, 31–15.

    References

    MetLife Stadium Wikipedia


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