MetLife Stadium: A Tale of Two Teams
It is not unusual in this era of multipurpose sports venues to have to convert the facility from one sport to another or to just paint the end zones a different color for a college game after a pro game is over. However, there is only one stadium in the NFL that serves as the home field for two teams on a totally equal basis…. MetLife Stadium. Both the NY Jets and the New Giants are 50/50 partners in the look of the facility on game day. That was not always the case, as in the days of Giants Stadium, the Giants ruled the roost and the Jets were relegated to second place on the pecking order.
That all changed when MetLife Stadium was built, and the Jets demanded equal status in everything to do with the stadium. Each team has its own locker room, training facilities and media rooms for after game interviews. That does not require a weekly conversion of the facility to reflect who is playing at home each week. Every element that the public sees on gameday has to be changed over from Jets to Giants or vice versa depending on the NFL schedule …. except the seats, which stay a neutral gray. This require a crew of 26 people two eight-hour days to pull off. All together more than 1,100 elements are involved in the conversion process. Let’s look at how that happens.
One of the most obvious changes is in the end zones, which carry the team colors and logos. At MetLife Stadium this is not accomplished by painting the field. It involves separate artificial turf bearing each teams brand being installed on a weekly basis. It is a very meticulous process involving lots of manpower. The logo at the 50-yard line has the NFL shield logo throughout the season, as changing a small square in the middle of the field would be very costly and can increase the likelihood of injury due to seams in the turf.
Next up is the electronics package. MetLife bathes the exterior of the stadium in the team colors of the home team that is home that week. This requires the changing of the color filters of every spotlight that shines on the stadium. Even the digital ticket scanners at the entry gates are changed out to the appropriate team’s brand. Inside the stadium, the four videoboards and the ribbon boards are converted into the appropriate colors and branding. Even the lighting in the team stores can be changed from Jets green to Giants blue.
A more basic, but no less important feature that is changed over by hand is the wall wrap that extends around the playing field. 25 sets of banners need to be hung according to who is the home team.
On game day the team store is totally reflective of the home team. They do not display Giants and Jets merchandise simultaneously. Some of the merchandise must be changed out by hand, but other displays can be converted by some very ingenious construction incorporated into the space.
Outside of the stadium there are 200 light poles, with each pole displaying two banners. Both banners feature the home team branding for that week and must be changed over on a game by game basis. The pre-game area fan experience area also must feature the appropriate branding for that week.
People often ask what happens when the Jets face the Giants in a game at MetLife Stadium? That only occurs once a year, during the preseason. The teams alternate who will be the home team each year. This is because you cannot accommodate both teams season ticket bases in the same seats. The stadium will be decked out in the home team’s brand with one exception… one end zone will feature the Giants colors and logo and the other will feature the Jets branding and logo. Since the teams are in separate conferences they would not face each other in the regular season or the playoffs. If both teams make the Super Bowl the stadium management prays it is being held at another site!
Here is a short video giving you an overview of the transition process MetLife goes through on a weekly basis:
Did you enjoy this content? Help support our work by becoming a supporter of Stadium Journey on Patreon. Supporter levels begin at just $2/month.