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Jets and Giants Unveil New Stadium Design, Break Ground on Project

  • MetLife Stadium

By Alice McGillion, Rubenstein Associates


The owners of the New York Giants and the New York Jets officially broke ground today on the first stadium in history designed to be the permanent home of two NFL franchises. The $1.3 billion stadium-privately financed by Jets Development LLC and Giant Stadium LLC in a 50-50 joint venture-is scheduled for completion for the 2010 football season. It will seat 82,500 fans per game and host 20 NFL games per season, more than any other NFL stadium in the nation. It will also host numerous other events ranging from college football to international soccer, concerts and more. 

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, State Senate President Richard Codey, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Chairman Carl Goldberg and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined Jets Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson, Giants President and CEO John Mara and Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch to unveil the design and sign a steel beam to kick off major construction. Dozens of additional public officials and special guests were also on hand for the ceremony, which was emceed by NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen. 

The new facility will boast improved parking and transit options, enhanced tailgating opportunities, a new plaza radiating from the stadium filled with fan-centric activities, an intimate seating bowl, and cutting edge sound and signage. The 2.1 million square foot facility, which occupies 40 acres, is designed to be the most innovative and memorable spectator environment in professional sports. 

The sleek profile of the technologically advanced new stadium will transform its look game-to-game to reflect the color, spirit and heritage of each home team. The outward appearance of the stadium's eight-level aluminum louvered exterior will be illuminated by the colors and iconic imagery of the team playing that day. This imagery will be projected on the spectacular Great Wall, a huge (40x400-foot) frieze of panels visible through the louvers as well as on 2,500 high-definition displays throughout the stadium plus, 18,000 square feet of video display and league-high, four jumbo video boards in the bowl. 

"Ensuring that the stadium would feel like home to both teams and both groups of fans was our goal and also one of the biggest challenges in the design of the stadium. With a unique combination of design elements, both teams will now be at home at the epicenter of football in a setting unmatched anywhere in the country," said Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch. "Our ability to transform the building overnight also extends to meet the needs not only of each team on game day but can become a neutral building on non-game days." 

Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson said, "Every aspect of a Sunday at the stadium will be radically different before fans even step foot inside. Improved highway access and redesigned parking lots will make the trip to the Meadowlands more efficient. A brand new rail facility will also provide fans a quick and convenient travel alternative. Once at the stadium, fans will enjoy enhanced tailgating opportunities and a new plaza filled with activities for fans of all ages." 

Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara said, "The design of stadium and the seating bowl allows our fans the continued intimate feel of the current Giants Stadium, a characteristic that our players and fans love. Just like it is now for our fans, the open sightlines throughout will be enhanced by the four spectacular video screens in each corner. In addition, cutting edge sound systems, digital boards and electronic signage will work together to form an experience where everything has its place. The live experience will be unmatched anywhere in the NFL." 

"We may dig up only a symbolic amount of dirt at today's groundbreaking but this event actually represents a massive mobilization of resources, time, and energy," Governor Corzine said. "For me, this new stadium exemplifies the very best in public-private partnerships. The Jets, the Giants, and the State of New Jersey have developed a genuinely collaborative relationship to create the flagship stadium of the National Football League. This relationship is unique in the annals of the NFL and will create the best total fan experience in the league-bar none. Moreover, the combination of the new stadium and the extraordinary Xanadu entertainment and retail complex here will form the most distinctive, enjoyable, and exceptional family destination-right here in New Jersey." 

"The stadium is a huge investment in the future of the Meadowlands and will anchor its overall revitalization," added State Senate President Richard Codey. "This world-class facility will be a beacon for the metropolitan region, attracting people for all types of events and providing fans with something to cheer about. New Jersey deserves nothing less." "We are proud to call the Giants and Jets our home teams, today, and for years to come," said Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts. "But the Meadowlands won't only be an attraction on game days; it will serve as a year round destination for the entire tri-state area because of a brand new rail facility right in the heart of the Meadowlands Complex." 

"It has been a pleasure to observe both franchises work together as true partners," said NJSEA Chairman Carl Goldberg. "Today's announcement against the backdrop of construction on the new stadium is a testament to the joint vision of both teams to create a venue that will showcase the very best of the NFL and will complement Xanadu and the entire Meadowlands Complex." 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "This partnership between the Jets and Giants is unique not only for the NFL but in all of sports. A 100% privately financed stadium by two teams is unprecedented. Given the attention to detail that the ownership and their front office teams are putting into this stadium, it promises to be a first-class facility for Giants and Jets fans and a showcase for the NFL." 

360 Architects, led by George Heinlein, is the design architect for the project and EwingCole is the architect of record. The world-renowned design team also includes wayfinding and fan experience designer Bruce Mau of Bruce Mau Design as well as interior designer David Rockwell of The Rockwell Group. Construction of the project is led by Skanska AB. The owners' representative is Tishman Lehrer.