Giants Stadium

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Giants Stadium
The Meadowlands
Giantsstadiumlogo.png
Aerial view of Giants Stadium.
Location 50 Route 120, East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073
Coordinates40°48′44″N 74°4′37″W / 40.81222°N 74.07694°W / 40.81222; -74.07694Coordinates: 40°48′44″N 74°4′37″W / 40.81222°N 74.07694°W / 40.81222; -74.07694
Broke ground November 30, 1972[1]
Opened October 10, 1976
Closed January 3, 2010 (final game)
Demolished February 4, 2010 - August 10, 2010
OwnerNew Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
OperatorNew Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
SurfaceAstroturf 1976 to 1999
Grass 2000 to 2002
FieldTurf 2003 to 2009
Construction cost$78 million
($319 million in 2012 dollars[2])
ArchitectKivett and Myers[1]
Ewing Cole Erdman & Eubank[1]
Clauss & Nolan[1]
General contractorGeorge A. Fuller Company[1]
Capacity 80,242[1]
Tenants
New York Giants (NFL) (1976-2009)
New York Cosmos (NASL) (1977-1984)
New York Jets (NFL) (1984-January 3, 2010)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (NCAA) (1993)
New York MetroStars / New York Red Bulls (MLS) (1996-2009)
New Jersey Generals (USFL) (1983-1985)
NY/NJ Knights (WLAF) (1991-1992)
NY/NJ Hitmen (XFL) (2001)
Garden State Bowl (NCAA) (1978-1981)
Big City Classic (2009)
New York Sentinels (UFL) (2009)
 
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Giants Stadium
The Meadowlands
Giantsstadiumlogo.png
Aerial view of Giants Stadium.
Location 50 Route 120, East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073
Coordinates40°48′44″N 74°4′37″W / 40.81222°N 74.07694°W / 40.81222; -74.07694Coordinates: 40°48′44″N 74°4′37″W / 40.81222°N 74.07694°W / 40.81222; -74.07694
Broke ground November 30, 1972[1]
Opened October 10, 1976
Closed January 3, 2010 (final game)
Demolished February 4, 2010 - August 10, 2010
OwnerNew Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
OperatorNew Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority
SurfaceAstroturf 1976 to 1999
Grass 2000 to 2002
FieldTurf 2003 to 2009
Construction cost$78 million
($319 million in 2012 dollars[2])
ArchitectKivett and Myers[1]
Ewing Cole Erdman & Eubank[1]
Clauss & Nolan[1]
General contractorGeorge A. Fuller Company[1]
Capacity 80,242[1]
Tenants
New York Giants (NFL) (1976-2009)
New York Cosmos (NASL) (1977-1984)
New York Jets (NFL) (1984-January 3, 2010)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (NCAA) (1993)
New York MetroStars / New York Red Bulls (MLS) (1996-2009)
New Jersey Generals (USFL) (1983-1985)
NY/NJ Knights (WLAF) (1991-1992)
NY/NJ Hitmen (XFL) (2001)
Garden State Bowl (NCAA) (1978-1981)
Big City Classic (2009)
New York Sentinels (UFL) (2009)

Giants Stadium was a stadium, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA, in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Maximum seating capacity was 80,242.[3] The building itself was 756 feet (230 m) long, 592 feet (180 m) wide and 144 feet (44 m) high from service level to the top of the seating bowl and 178 feet (54 m) high to the top of the south tower respectively. The volume of the stadium was 64,500,000 cubic feet (1,830,000 m3). 13,500 tons of structural steel were used in the building process and 29,200 tons of concrete were poured.[4] It was owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA).

It primarily served as the home stadium for the New York Giants and New York Jets American football teams of the NFL, but was rented for concerts and many other special events.

The stadium was located at State Route 120 and State Route 3 (which is accessed from Midtown Manhattan via the Lincoln Tunnel). The New Jersey Turnpike was also nearby.

Giants Stadium was demolished in 2010 and replaced by MetLife Stadium, located adjacent to its former site.

Contents

History

Giants Stadium was the first major league sporting venue in New Jersey (though the Brooklyn Dodgers had played seven home games at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City in 1956 & 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.

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 and extending their winning streak to 14 games.[5]

The New York Giants played their first home opener in the stadium on September 18 of the 1977 season (a 20–17 win over the Washington Redskins).[6]

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. The New York Sentinels played one game at the stadium in the United Football League inaugural season.

In the second week of the 2005 season, the New Orleans Saints used the stadium for a "home" game against the Giants because of extensive damage to the Louisiana Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. One end zone was painted in Saints colors, Saints banners were hung on the walls around the sidelines, and the Saints wore their home jerseys. The game was rescheduled to a Monday night with a special start time of 7:30 PM EDT, preceding the other scheduled game on Monday Night Football.[7] The Giants were normally not visitors at Giants Stadium unless they were playing the Jets.

College football games

The stadium hosted 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 DameNavy and Notre Dame–Army games; and the Army–Navy Game on three occasions, most recently in 2002. Syracuse 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, 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 also played one home game at Giants Stadium (against Yale) during the construction of Princeton's new stadium in 1997.

Soccer at Giants Stadium

A New York Red Bulls match at Giants Stadium in 2007

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 again held the final 4 years later for the CONCACAF Gold Cup which saw Mexico defeat the USA 5-0. It has seen many European soccer tours in recent years, hosting games involving such major soccer clubs as Manchester United, Rangers F.C., Celtic F.C, Chelsea, Liverpool, F.C Barcelona, and many others.

It also hosted England's 3-2 victory over Colombia on May 31, 2005.[8] That match saw Peter Crouch and Robert Green make their England debut.

The New York Red Bulls (formerly the New York/New Jersey MetroStars) of Major League Soccer played at the stadium for their first fourteen seasons. They moved to the soccer-specific Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison, New Jersey in 2010.

1994 FIFA World Cup matches

Date Time (EDT) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Spectators
1994-06-1816.00 Italy0–1 Republic of IrelandGroup E75,338
1994-06-2316.00 Italy1–0 NorwayGroup E74,624
1994-06-2512.30 Saudi Arabia2–1 MoroccoGroup F76,322
1994-06-2812.30 Republic of Ireland0–0 NorwayGroup E72,404
1994-07-0516.30 Mexico1–1 (1–3 on pen.) BulgariaRound of 1671,030
1994-07-1012.00 Bulgaria2–1 GermanyQuarterfinals72,000
1994-07-1316.00 Bulgaria1–2  ItalySemifinals74,110

Pope John Paul II at Giants Stadium

New York Jets playing at Giants Stadium, November 2001

The second 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. The record was broken on September 24, 2009 with an attendance of 84,472 at the U2 concert.

Concerts

The stadium played host to Amnesty International's final A Conspiracy of Hope Benefit Concert on June 15, 1986. The show was a sold-out, all-day event, running from noon until 11 p.m. and broadcast on MTV. The show was headlined by U2 and Sting and also featured Bryan Adams, Peter Gabriel, Joan Baez, The Neville Brothers and The Police. Additional artists that performed include John Eddie, with Max Weinberg, Third World, The Hooters, Peter, Paul and Mary, Steven van Zandt, with Bob Geldof, Stanley Jordan, Joan Armatrading, Jackson Browne, Rubén Blades, with Fela Kuti and Carlos Santana, Yoko Ono, Howard Jones, Miles Davis and Joni Mitchell. Spoken introductions were made by Billy Graham, Bill Bradley, Darryl Hannah, Robert De Niro, Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox and Muhammed Ali. Pete Townshend was scheduled to perform, but cancelled at the last minute, when his father, Cliff Townshend, became gravely ill, which would have been his first US solo appearance. This also marked The Police's final full-live performance together, until their 2007 Reunion Tour, 21 years later.

The stadium played host to The Tattoo the Earth Tour on July 20, 2000. The show featured performances by Slipknot, Slayer, Sevendust, Sepultura, Hed PE, Mudvayne, downset., Hatebreed, Full Devil Jacket, Famous, Amen, U.P.O., Nothingface, PPM, Cold, Relative Ash, Systematic, Six Feet Under, Candiria, Lamb of God, God Forbid, Darkest Hour, Unearth, All That Remains, Dropkick Murphys, Sick of It All, Tiger Army, Converge, The Unseen, Reach the Sky, Stretch Arm Strong, Kill Your Idols and Nashville Pussy, including the only appearance by Metallica during the tour and also featured 42 tattoo artists from Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Malaysia, Manitoba, Spain, Switzerland and the US.

The stadium has also played host to music festivals, including The Monsters of Rock Festival, Ozzfest and The Bamboozle (in the parking lot, annually, since 2003).

Many locals say it is the home turf of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, due to the fact that they came from Freehold, New Jersey.[citation needed]. Springsteen wrote the song, "Wrecking Ball" partially in response to the closing of the stadium and in 2009 performed it for the first time during his final appearance at Giants Stadium.

Metallica and Guns N' Roses brought the Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour to the stadium twice on July 18, 1992 and July 29, 1992, with Faith No More as their opening act on both dates.

Depeche Mode performed at the stadium on June 16, 1990 in front of 42.000 people. The concert was part of their World Violation Tour.

Seating Capacity

The seating capacity over the years went as the following:

Demolition

Demolition work on Giants Stadium began at approximately 10:00 AM EST on February 4, 2010 at the Gate B spirals, the closest point to the new stadium. The demolition work was expected to cost more than $10 million and took approximately four months to complete.[14][15] As of May 10, 2010 approximately 50% of the Stadium has been demolished. On May 19, 2010 at 8:30pm, demolition crews pulled down the press box, the highest part of the stadium. In the early afternoon of June 28, 2010, the last section of stadium grandstand came down, leaving just two later demolished upper level escalators standing. Much of the stadium's memorabilia was sold to a sports memorabilia company, such as the framed pictures from the suites, all of the building's signage and a good portion of the saved bowl seats. Other property was liquidated to other NJSEA facilities such as the IZOD Center and Monmouth Park Racetrack.

Changes and co-tenants

Giants Stadium during a December 17, 2005 game between the Giants and Kansas City Chiefs

To accommodate these varied events, Giants Stadium has sported various playing surfaces in its history. From its opening until the end of the 1999 NFL season, Giants Stadium sported an AstroTurf playing surface. 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 installed a grass field with interchangeable trays each spring that was removed prior to football season, forcing the team to play the remainder of its season on the AstroTurf field used by the football teams. (It should be noted that when the New York Cosmos called Giants Stadium home, they played on the stadium's artificial surface and never used a grass field.)

The AstroTurf was replaced in 2000 by a system of interchangeable grass trays similar to those put in place for soccer, but was kept in place under the trays to aid in draining the field when it got wet. Over the three seasons Giants Stadium used a grass surface, the conditions would worsen as the season went on and the field quality was typically rated just as low as the old, hard AstroTurf had been. Giants Stadium finally scrapped the grass in favor of FieldTurf for the 2003 season, and the surface remained in place until the stadium closed.

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 required the approval of the Giants and they were unwilling to do so. As such, for years afterward the Jets referred to Giants Stadium as "The Meadowlands" whenever they played there. Eventually the Jets began referring to the stadium by its name.

Thanks largely to the dual occupancy of Giants Stadium by two NFL teams since 1984, it 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.[16]

Since the stadium was originally built for the Giants, the stadium's lower walls were blue and the seats and the stadium's four gates were red and blue to reflect that. When the Jets moved in, green banners were hung over the walls and eventually over the outer gates of the stadium anytime the team hosted a game.[17]

In mid-December, traditionally the stadium hosted 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 was a challenge for the stadium grounds crew, as they only had 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 was 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 third week of the NFL Preseason, and the teams annually rotated the home and away teams.

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.[18] This led Sports Illustrated to suggest that this "takes on special meaning when a punter goes for the 'coffin corner.'"[19] In a similar vein, sportscaster Marv Albert once said that a team was "kicking towards the Hoffa end of the field." This was tested by the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters, and they were unable to find any sign of a body.

Notable moments

Giants Stadium in 2006

In popular culture

References

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Preceded by
Shea Stadium
Home of the
New York Giants

1976–2009
Succeeded by
MetLife Stadium
Preceded by
Shea Stadium
Home of the
New York Jets

1984–2010
Succeeded by
MetLife Stadium
Preceded by
Yankee Stadium
Home of the
New York Cosmos

1977–1985
Succeeded by
last stadium
Preceded by
first stadium
Home of the
New York Red Bulls

1996–2009
Succeeded by
Red Bull Arena
Preceded by
Louisiana Superdome
Home of the
New Orleans Saints
(with Alamodome & Tiger Stadium)

2005 (One Game)
Succeeded by
Louisiana Superdome
Preceded by
Estadio Azteca
Mexico City
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final Venue

2005
Succeeded by
Soldier Field
Chicago
Preceded by
Soldier Field
Chicago
CONCACAF Gold Cup
Final Venue

2009
Succeeded by
Rose Bowl
Pasadena
Preceded by
Soldier Field
Edward Jones Dome
Host of NFC Championship Game
1987
2001
Succeeded by
RFK Stadium
Edward Jones Dome

See also

External links