Located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, MetLife Stadium has 82,500 seats and is among the largest football stadiums in the NFL. Construction began in 2007 and the 2.1-million-square-foot, $1.6 billion stadium opened for business in 2010.
Designed by 360 Architects, among other firms, the stadium’s primary structure contains more than 17,000 pieces of steel and its exterior aluminum louvers, when combined, extend for more than 30 miles. Since its opening, the stadium has hosted a range of sporting events and concerts.
Home of the Giants and Jets
MetLife Stadium is the only stadium in the NFL to serve as the home field for two teams: the New York Giants and New York Jets. It is also the home field for the XFL’s New York Guardians. The stadium hosts as many as 20 NFL games per season and is designed so that it can easily be transformed to reflect the colors of the team that is playing there. Team-specific elements including end zones and flagpole banners are switched out on a regular basis during the NFL season. Moreover, the stadium’s exterior uplighting and team merchandise store colors alter from green to blue to match the Jets and Giants team colors, respectively.
Beyond both teams calling MetLife Stadium home, the Jets and Giants are 50–50 partners in the stadium and have committed to playing in New Jersey for 99 years. The two teams previously shared Giants Stadium in East Rutherford. The Jets sought to build their own stadium in Manhattan, but instead came to an agreement with the Giants to build MetLife Stadium in 2005. The first NFL game at the stadium was held on September 12, 2010, between the Giants and Carolina Panthers. However, it was then known as Meadowlands Stadium. MetLife spent between $17 and $20 million to acquire the stadium’s naming rights from 2011 to 2036.
Hosted Super Bowl XLVIII
While MetLife Stadium has hosted noteworthy sporting events like the Copa America Centenario and CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals, the largest event it has hosted in that regard is Super Bowl XLVIII. Traditionally, the NFL hosts the Super Bowl in stadiums situated in warmer regions. Miami, for instance, has hosted the Super Bowl 11 times, while other cities to hold the event multiple times include Los Angeles, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Houston, and Atlanta.
MetLife Stadium became the first open-air stadium in a cold weather climate to host the Super Bowl in 2014. Early forecasts called for inclement weather, but playing conditions were unaffected as temperatures eventually approached record highs for February 2. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t that memorable as the Seattle Seahawks routed the Denver Broncos by a score of 43–8. Seattle led 36–0 at one point in the third quarter. Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith scored a 69-yard interception return touchdown and was named Super Bowl MVP.
MetLife is likely to host some games during the 2026 World Cup. In addition, Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Jim Kirkos noted in 2019 that he expected the stadium to host another Super Bowl within the next 10 years.
Hosted WrestleMania 29 and 35
New York and New Jersey are both considered hotbeds for wrestling fandom, which is no surprise considering the WWE’s corporate headquarters are in nearby Stamford, Connecticut. New Jersey hosted WrestleMania IV and WrestleMania V and, with the opening of MetLife Stadium, the WWE sought a return to the Garden State.
Three years after it opened, MetLife Stadium was the site of WrestleMania 29, which featured a main event between WWE icons John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Other notable matches included a no-holds-barred match between Triple H and Brock Lesnar and a World Heavyweight Championship bout between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger.
WWE returned to MetLife Stadium six years later for WrestleMania 35. The record-setting event drew 82,265 people, which was the largest crowd for any event at the stadium. It’s also the third-largest attendance record for a WrestleMania. Moreover, the event grossed $16.9 million, which was up from the stadium’s previous record of $12.3 million at WrestleMania 29.
“WWE outdid themselves by creating an even more exciting WrestleMania than we experienced six years ago,” noted New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “The WWE Universe helped deliver significant economic results to New Jersey, and we look forward to the opportunity of hosting WrestleMania again in the future.”
Accolades and Amenities
MetLife Stadium was named by Billboard Magazine as the highest grossing stadium in the world for non-NFL events in six of its first seven years of operation. It was also ranked №1 for safety in Security magazine’s “Security 500” list for 2011 in the category of arenas and stadiums.
In addition to 82,500 seats for football and soccer games, the stadium boasts more than 200 suites on four different levels, as well as two club areas including the Coaches Club, which includes a 20,000-square-foot bar and lounge located five yards away from the home team’s bench.