Part of the Meadowland Sports Complex and home to both the New York Giants and New York Jets NFL teams, Giants Stadium has been host to memorable events such as Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." tour and Pope John Paul II's Papal Mass. The stadium is also home to Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls.
Located in East Rutherford, New Jersey (less than seven miles from Times Square), Giants Stadium was designed with the fans in mind. The team was hoping to finally settle down after jumping between four different stadiums in their first 50 years in the NFL. Although they wanted to remain local, the team needed a bigger stadium to allot for their growing fan base. Thus, Giants Stadium was born, and on October 10, 1976 - four years after construction began in 1972 - the Giants played their first game against the Dallas Cowboys in front of a sold-out crowd.
The stadium itself, costing $78 million to build, is still owned by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which was created to finance and manage the construction of the venue. Giants Stadium is an open-roofed arena and the second largest in the NFL, with 78,741 seats available for football games. The stadium can hold as many as 55,000 to 60,000 patrons for concerts and similar events.
Today, the playing field is made up of FieldTurf. Formerly lined with AstroTurf, grass was installed between 2000 and 2002, but was eventually removed and replaced with the current artificial surface. Opposing end zones are each adorned with 32' x 24' JumboTron monitors. The stadium is packed with plenty of concession stands to meet the needs of hungry patrons along with a total of 70 restrooms, 50 ticket windows, and 25,000 parking spaces.
For those hoping to make a good impression on a client with an interest in football, the stadium has plenty of executive and party suites available with room for up to 22 or 44 guests respectively. Giants Stadium's 72 suites offer patrons access to a private entrance and VIP parking. Each suite is also furnished with a wet bar, a refrigerator, plush seating, and televisions.
On non-event days, several of Giants Stadium's facilities are available for private use, granting room for anywhere from 50 to 1,000 people. These facilities include the Practice Bubble (on the west side of the stadium), the Press Lounge, the Stadium Club (located at the stadium's south tower), and the 50 Club.
As part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, Giants Stadium is in close proximity to the Meadowlands Racetrack, for horse races, and the IZOD Center, which is better equipped for indoor events such as professional hockey and basketball. The venue itself will continue to be occupied by the two NFL teams until the new Meadowlands Stadium finishes construction in August 2010, resulting in the demolition of the 34-year-old Giants Stadium. The new stadium, estimated to cost $1.4 billion and having a capacity of 82,500, is being built immediately next to the current one, meaning fans won't have to worry about traveling to new location in order to support their favorite team.