Why is MetLife Stadium in New Jersey?

Why is MetLife Stadium in New Jersey

Metlife Stadium is home of the NFL New York Giants and New York Jets teams. While both teams represent New York in their name, they both play football games in East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States. A common question is why is Metlife Stadium in New Jersey if the teams represent New York. Another trending question is, why do the New York Giants and Jets play in New Jersey? Finally, many fans are curious if the Jets or Giants will ever move back to NYC.


Here is the breakdown to these three questions and more below.


What is MetLife Stadium?

what is metlife stadium

MetLife Stadium, out in the Meadowlands Sports Complex, is the NFL home to the New York Jets and New York Giants. Both sides play their NFL home games at the venue, so the stadium has to update the end zone and logo to accommodate both teams on game days. The NFL stadium opened up on April 10, 2010, and replaced Giants Stadium for both teams.


When both teams play against each other during the regular season, one team is the home team, while the other is the away. That means that the away team has to use the visiting locker, which is always interesting. The first time this matchup took place was in 1970, and there have been a total of 14 meetings as of 2020. As of 2020, the Giants hold an 8-6 advantage in wins over the Jets when they play each other. When both teams don’t play each other, the grounds crew makes sure that a Giants Game or Jets Game feels properly decorated for their fanbase. The changes to the stadium take about 12 hours to change from one team to another.


Where is Rutherford, New Jersey?

MetLife Stadium sits out in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is eleven miles from NYC. Before MetLife Stadium, the Jets and Giants played at their old venue, Giants Stadium. Giants Stadium sat in the same parking lot like the new football venue. The exact address of the new NFL Stadium is 1 Metlife Stadium Drive, East Rutherford, NJ 07073.


The town of Rutherford holds a population of 18,000+ people. Rutherford is similar in size to the New England Patriots home in Foxborough, Massachusetts. If you are curious why the Patriots don’t play in Boston, you can visit that link. The city of Newark in New Jersey also sits about thirteen miles south of MetLife stadium.


Did the Teams Always Play in New Jersey?

The NFL teams played games in New York City before moving to New Jersey, which may surprise many fans.  The New York Giants had home games at the Polo Grounds, Old Yankee Stadium, and Shea Stadium. Those three venues were all in different parts of NYC, but they were all made for baseball. For a brief time, they had football games at Yale Bowl, which is out in Connecticut. For the New York Jets, they had football games at the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium before moving to New Jersey.


Why Do the Jets and Giants Share a Stadium in New Jersey?

why do the jets and giants share a stadium in new jersey

The New York Giants left NYC for New Jersey in 1976. Their new stadium at the time, Giants Stadium, was owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The very first NFL game at Giants Stadium was against the Dallas Cowboys, which the Giants lost 24-14.


Eight years after the New York Giants left NYC for New Jersey, the Jets moved into Giants Stadium as well. Their lease at Shea Stadium was coming to an end, so the owner was looking to have an authentic football venue for the Jets team to use. After contract negotiations fell apart in New York City for a football stadium, the Jets went over to New Jersey and used Giants Stadium.


Do the Jets or Giants Plan to Go Back to New York?

Before the opening of Giants Stadium in 2010, the New York Jets were trying to move to the West Side of Manhattan and build their own venue. The deal fell through when NYC lost the Olympic bid, so the Jets went to MetLife Stadium with the Giants. At this current time in 2020, the Jets and Giants don’t have any plans to move to New York City.


Is there Any Football Team that Plays in New York Today?

is there any football team that plays in new york today
The Buffalo Bills are the only National Football League team that plays in New York. The Bills play their home games in Buffalo, New York, which is in the north western part of New York. The distance from Buffalo to NYC is over 373 miles, so fanbases are separated by actual distance. Bills fans live closer to Buffalo and upstate New York, unlike the Jets and Giants fans living closer to NYC. The above picture is from a fan illustrating how the Jets play in New Jersey, so it is a fun rivalry.


How Do New Yorkers Decide Between the Jets and Giants?

With both NFL teams sharing the same stadium, many wonder how New Yorkers decide between the two football groups. The general rule is that Jets fans live out in Long Island while elsewhere roots for the Giants. New York Yankee fans typically root for the Giants while Mets fans root for the Jets. Since the Giants had games at the Old Yankee Stadium and Jets had games at Shea Stadium, their baseball fans root for the previous tenant.


Tailgating Rules at the Venue

Having a football stadium in a large parking lot allows tailgating to take place before games and concerts. Unlike Manhattan, where space is limited, New Jersey offers plenty of space for fans to set up their shot. If you are looking for MetLife Stadium parking tips and deals before your next event, you can visit that link.


What Can You Do Near MetLife Stadium?

Fans coming out to the Meadowlands outside of a football game have plenty of fun options to consider. American Dream, which is a gigantic indoor theme park, sits very close to the football arena. Outside of that, you can visit the Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment area, check out plenty of food options, and visit the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial.


Noticeable Events at the Venue

The NJ Transit rail service, which brings fans in from Penn Station and Newark, has a train stop right in front of the venue. That makes bringing in fans from New York City and Newark into MetLife Stadium very accessible, which is why many events occur there. Some activities include Super Bowl xlviii (Seahawks and Broncos), plenty of concerts, WrestleMania, and more.



Both the Giants and Jets represent New York City, but currently play their games in New Jersey as of 2020. Although both franchises initially had games in New York City, they both had difficulty securing land in New York to build their venue. With Rutherford being so close to Manhattan, and the ample amount of public transportation from New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, MetLife Stadium is close enough to their fanbase to enjoy without creating much of an issue.