Itinerant Fan

MetLife Stadium

Even if you’ve never been there, if you’re so much as a casual football fan you probably know a little bit about MetLife Stadium.

After all, it is the only venue in the NFL to serve as home for two teams (a distinction it will only hold until 2020, but still). It’s well known that it houses teams that represent New York but is located in New Jersey (a fact that seems weird to some out-of-towners but is nothing special to locals). And even if you don’t know the name MetLife Stadium, you probably have heard the oft-referenced moniker for the area surrounding it, the Meadowlands.

Whatever you know about MetLife Stadium, know that it’s an impressive facility worth visiting if you’re into football or whatever else it hosts. The NFL thought highly enough of it that it held Super Bowl XLVIII there, the first time it chose an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city to host the big game. And it’s expected that the final of the 2026 World Cup will be staged there.

So MetLife Stadium has enjoyed a lively past and has a bright future ahead of it. But even for regular-season Giants or Jets games, the venue provides a spectacular atmosphere to watch football. Here is a humble guide to getting the most of your visit to the Meadowlands.

For more on visiting the New York/New Jersey area, check out our New York city guide.

  •   The Approach

    MetLife Stadium is just six miles from Manhattan — that familiar skyline is clearly visible on most days from the uppermost seats — but it can feel a world away. Especially when you’re trying to get there. New York City traffic can be a slog on the best days, particularly when crossing the Hudson River that separates New York and New Jersey, but on gamedays the journey can be downright brutal by car.

    But this is football and tailgating is a ritual, so of course many people do drive. Most routes into the Meadowlands involve taking the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95), which runs alongside the stadium grounds, exiting at Route 3 and traveling west from there. Click here for more detailed driving directions. 

    As of the 2018 NFL season, parking rates began at $30 for entry into MetLife Stadium’s expansive parking lot. For more information on parking, click here.

    If you’re a visitor to New York that’s staying in Manhattan, public transportation is readily available, but it helps to know the network a little bit. To get the most common misconception out of the way: The New York subway does NOT run to MetLife Stadium — or to anywhere in New Jersey, for that matter.

    For train travel, you’ll have to rely on NJ Transit, which runs event service starting at New York’s Penn Station (underneath Madison Square Garden). Take it to Secaucus Junction, then transfer to a special platform for direct service to the Meadowlands. Know that this service is very popular, and stations and trains can experience extreme crowding on game days (NJ Transit, famously, was overwhelmed with football fans on the day of Super Bowl XLVIII).

    You can also travel to MetLife Stadium by bus, as service is offered from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. Fare starts at $7 each way, but buses take the same routes — and by and large encounter the same traffic — as most drivers to the game.

    Visitors whose trip revolves around a game at MetLife might find it easier — and cheaper — to stay in nearby Newark, which has a number of downtown hotels and easy access to nearby Newark Liberty International Airport. NJ Transit runs through downtown and leads to Secaucus, where fans can transfer to take the rail spur to the Meadowlands.

  •   The Build-Up

    MetLife Stadium is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which includes the Meadowlands Race Track (horse racing, that is) and the Meadowlands Arena, which used to be the home of the New Jersey Devils and Nets but now sits mostly unused.

    Also nearby is a shopping and entertainment complex called American Dream, which sat partially constructed for years but now is slated to open in 2019. Touted as the third-largest shopping center in North America, it promises to offer the same amenities seen in entertainment districts outside many major sports venues, such as those in Foxborough, Mass., Los Angeles or Philadelphia

    At least until American Dream opens, there aren’t many options for pregame entertainment outside the stadium. Other than checking out the tailgating taking place in the surrounding lots, if it’s your first time you might want to head in. The good news is, there’s quit a bit to see.

  •   The Ambiance

    Not that you’d have any reason to be confused upon arriving, but in the unlikely event you didn’t know whether the Giants or Jets were the home team on a football gameday, the stadium has a way of letting you know. Spotlights, in-stadium signage and even the rings of honor that line the facade of the upper deck are interchangeable and flip green or blue depending on the team.

    That’s just one of the subtle but cool features of the facility. Owing to its corporate sponsor, the stadium has a few Peanuts statues in different plazas and concourses, including one of Snoopy in a helmet and another of Lucy pulling the football away (no sign of Charlie Brown in that particular scene, though). Even though MetLife stopped using Peanuts characters in its advertising in 2016, the statues remained at least through the end of that season.

    Befitting such a large stadium, the various concession stands exhibit quite a bit of variety. This is New York, so deli sandwiches and pizza are prominent, but you can find some unique (for a stadium, anyway) fare such as fried clams, Asian noodles and dumplings, meat pies, gyros and cookies and brownies from Mrs. Fields. You can get a glimpse of the full selection here.

    You would expect a stadium that seats more than 80,000 to feel huge, and you’d be right — especially if you’re sitting way up top in the highest rows. But don’t let that deter you from sitting in the cheap seats. Yeah, you’re pretty high up, but what you can’t see you can at least catch replays of on one of the four large videoboards set up in each corner of the stadium.

     

The Particulars

Home Teams
New York Giants
New York Jets

Address
1 MetLife Stadium Drive
East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Year Opened
2010

Capacity
82,566

Upcoming Events
All times local
Green Bay Packers at New York Jets
Sunday, December 23, 2018
1:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Sunday, December 30, 2018
1:00 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

2019 Wrestlemania
Sunday, April 7, 2019
5:30 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »

AMA Supercross
Saturday, April 27, 2019
4:30 pm
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The Rolling Stones
Thursday, June 13, 2019
7:30 pm
Get tickets at SeatGeek »


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