The New York Jets are a professional American football team based in New York’s metropolitan area. The Jets are in the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC) East division and play their home games at MetLife Stadium alongside the New York Giants. The team is headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey and is known by fans as the “Gang Green”.
New York Jets History
The team was founded in 1959 as the New York Titans. Originally the team were members of the American Football League (AFL) and later joined the NFL as part of the AFL-NFL merger of 1970. The team first played in 1960 at their original home at the Polo Grounds.
Shortly after, in 1964, the team went under new ownership and its current name “The Jets”, the team moved to Shea Stadium. The Jets advanced to the playoffs for the first time a few years later, in 1968, and went on to compete in Super Bowl III where they defeated the Baltimore Colts and became the first AFL team to defeat an NFL club in an AFL-NFL World Championship Game.
Since then, the team has made 13 playoff appearances and in the AFC Championship Game four times, with their most recent appearance in 2010 when the team lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team hasn’t yet returned to the Super Bowl, making them one of two NFL teams that have won their lone Super Bowl appearance, along with the New Orleans Saints. They are also one of four teams to have never won an AFC championship. Though the Jets are currently experiencing a long championship drought, their fans are passionate and come out to cheer on the team during all of their home games at MetLife Stadium.
About MetLife Stadium
MetLife Stadium is located at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It lies only about 5 miles west of New York City.
The stadium opened in 2010 to replace Giants Stadium, which had been the longtime home for the New York Giants of the NFL. The stadium had an approximate cost of $1.6 billion making it the most expensive stadium in America at the time of its completion. While this record has been surpassed, it still remains one of the most impressive stadiums in professional sports today. And along with the remaining sections of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, it remains a beloved New York attraction.
Currently, it is home to the New York Giants and the New York Jets. This makes it one of only two NFL stadiums shared by two clubs. Additionally, it is the fourth building in the New York metropolitan area to be home to multiple teams from the same sports league. And it has the honor of being expected to host the Final of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
MetLife Stadium History
MetLife Stadium was designed to replace Giants Stadium, which at the time was approaching 30 years old making it one of the oldest stadiums in the NFL. The Jets, who were tenants to the Giants, were also looking to have their own stadium built in Manhattan and proposed West Side Stadium. Originally, it was also intended to be an 85,000 seat stadium for New York’s bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but was ultimately downsized to 75,000 seats for the Jets.
But the stadium required public funding that was halted due to opposition from several sources, including Cablevision. So the Jets created a joint venture with the Giants to build a new stadium that both teams would share as equal partners.
The project broke ground on September 5, 2007 and wouldn’t see completion and opening until April 10, 2010. The final construction cost was tallied at $1.6 billion (or $1.9 billion in 2020 dollars).
Early on, Allianz, a financial services and insurance company based in Munich, Germany, expressed interest in purchasing naming rights to the new stadium. The proposal was for a period of up to 30 years and was estimated at a value between $20 million and $30 million. However, New York’s Jewish community protested the the move due to the company’s past ties with the government of Nazi Germany during World War II. Ultimately though, talks ended on September 12, 2008.
Later, on June 27, 2011, New York City-based insurance company MetLife entered discussions to purchase naming rights. An agreement was reached and signed on August 23 for a 25-year deal that led to the stadium being named MetLife Stadium.
Non-NFL Attendance Records
The MetLife Stadium has an impressive capacity for 82,500 fans in its largest configuration. It came close to reaching this capacity when it hosted WrestleMania 29 on April 7, 2013 with 80,676 spectators. But then it beat this record six years later with Wrestlemania 35 on April 7, 2019, where 82, 265 attendees enjoyed the show.
But MetLife Stadium has also been a part of attendance history in other events. For instance, On November 16, 2019, when it hosted the 61st Cortaca Jug rivalry between NCAA Division III teams Red Dragons and the Ithaca Bombers. This game had an attendance of 45,161 fans, which made it the most attended Division III football game at the time.
New York football fans have it good with the Jets, who have a history of achievements both before and after the AFL-NFL merger. For instance, the team has earned one league championships (1968 – Afl, 1968 – Super Bowl championships), four Division Championships (1968-1969 in the AFL East, 1998, 2002 in the AFC East), and 14 playoff appearances (1968-1969 in the AFL, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2010 in the NFL).
But the Titans/Jets have also earned recognition for fielding players who have made it to the American Football League All-Time Team on January 14, 1970.
Joe Namath (QB)
Don Maynard (WR)
Gerry Philbin (DE)
Weeb Ewbank (Coach)
Winston Hill (T)
Larry Grantham (LB)
Jim Turner (PK)
Art Powell (WR)
Bob Talamini (G)