Giants Stadium (sometimes referred to as Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands or The Swamp) was a stadium located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The venue was open from 1976 to 2010, and it primarily hosted sporting events and concerts. It was best known as the home field of the New York Giants and New York Jetsfootball teams. The maximum seating capacity was 80,242. The structure 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. The volume of the stadium was 64,500,000 cubic feet (1,830,000 m3), and 13,500 tons of structural steel were used in the building process while 29,200 tons of concrete were poured. It was owned and operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA). The stadium's field was aligned northwest to southeast, with the press box along the southwest sideline.
In the early 1970s, the New York Giants were sharing Yankee Stadium with the New York Yankees baseball team, and began looking for a home of their own. The Giants struck a deal with the fledgling New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in 1971 and ground broke on the construction of the new facility in 1972. The Giants' last full season in Yankee Stadium was 1972, as the ballpark was closed for a massive reconstruction following the end of the Yankees' 1973 season. Since their new stadium would take a significant amount of time to finish, and they could not use their home facility due to the construction, the Giants moved out of state and played in New Haven, Connecticut at the Yale Bowl from October 1973 through 1974, but won just once in twelve games there. They returned to New York for one final season in 1975 and shared Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens with the Yankees, Mets, and Jets. The Giants finally moved into their new home on October 10, 1976, week five of the season.
Eight years after Giants Stadium opened, it gained a second major tenant. The Jets' lease at Shea Stadium, the home of the New York Mets, had expired at the end of the 1983 season and team owner Leon Hess was having trouble negotiating terms of a new lease to stay in Queens. The city of New York was unwilling to agree to his terms and Hess decided to move the Jets to the Meadowlands permanently (the team previously played a regular season game there in 1977). Their first game in Giants Stadium was on September 6, 1984. With the Jets now playing at the stadium, the grounds crew needed to find a way to set their games apart from Giants games and make them more inviting for their fans and eventually came up with a series of green and white banners and coverings that were hung over the field-level blue walls that circled the stadium and (later) the four entrance gates outside the stadium.
The sharing of the stadium by both the Giants and Jets enabled it to break a record that had long been held by Chicago's Wrigley Field. Entering the 2003 season, its 28th, Giants Stadium had played host to 364 NFL games, second only to the 365 played at Wrigley by the Chicago Bears in their 50 seasons there. The Giants' season opening game with the St. Louis Rams tied the record, and the following week the Jets' home opener against the Miami Dolphins broke it.
Giants Stadium was closed following the 2009 NFL season following the construction of MetLife Stadium in the surrounding parking lot. The stadium's final event was the January 3, 2010, game featuring the Jets hosting the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Demolition of the structure began a month after the game and was completed on August 10, 2010. The New York Giants and New York Jets both moved to MetLife Stadium in 2010.
Giants Stadium opened on October 10, 1976, as 76,042 fans witnessed a 24–14 loss by the Giants to the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants had played their first four games on the road that season. 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.
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. The Giants were normally not visitors at Giants Stadium unless they were playing the Jets.