1925 - 1976
|● The Giants shared the Polo Grounds with the New York Baseball Giants from the time they entered the league in 1925 until they moved to the larger Yankee Stadium for the start of the 1956 season.|
|● In 1973, the Giants announced plans to move to a new stadium in New Jersey for the 1976 season, and the city of New York announced that Yankee Stadium was planning a two-year renovation after the 1973 baseball season. The Giants were allowed to play their first two games of the 1973 season at Yankee Stadium before moving to a new location.|
|● The Giants spent the offseason searching for a place to play their games. Their first choice was the Yale Bowl, but the Yale Bowl representatives turned down the team’s first request because it would have meant a blackout for the local schedule due to the blackout rule. The Giants’ next choice was to play at Princeton University, who also turned down the Giants. When the league announced the 1973 schedule, it didn’t even say where the games would be played. In light of the Giants’ problems, Commissioner Pete Rozelle, with the help from national politicians, modified the blackout rule so that it was only in effect if the game was not sold out in advance. With the rule change came a change of heart by the Yale Bowl representatives and The Giants would play their first two games of the 1973 season at Yankee Stadium and would play the rest of season at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, CT.|
|● After the 1974 season, it was announced that the Giants were going back to New York City to play at Shea Stadium until the opening of Giants Stadium in 1976. The Giants played the first four games of the 1976 season on the road just in case there were any delays with the opening of the new stadium. The Giants made their debut at Giants Stadium on October 10, 1976 against the Dallas Cowboys before a sellout crowd.|
|After calling four different stadiums home in their first 50 years in the National Football League, the Giants moved into Giants Stadium in 1976. The idea of playing at a stadium built in the Meadowlands first attracted the Giants' attention when they realized that they could provide 15,000 more seats and help meet the increasing demands of the fans without a major switch in location. Giants Stadium is only 6.9 miles from Times Square, compared to Yankee Stadium which is 6.6. |
In May of 1967, a local New Jersey newspaper first proposed the idea of building a Sports Complex. The idea of the complex could not begin until a major sports franchise could be attracted to the concept. With an aging Yankee Stadium, the Giants and the Yankees became immediate targets. The original construction idea called for separate stadiums for football and baseball with convenient parking and easy highway access just miles from New York City.
In 1970, the William Cahill administration began serious efforts to lure the Giants. On August 27, 1971, the Giants signed a 30-year lease for a 75,000-seat stadium to be built by the 1975 season. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority was established by an act of the state legislature on May 10, 1971 to finance, construct and administer the complex. It was also decided that the complex would include a stadium for football and a racetrack. The Authority was granted powers through legislature to lease property, borrow money, issue bonds and conduct horse racing. To finance the complex the state was authorized to issue revenue bonds backed by the state-run racetrack proceeds. The complex was built and operated with no expense to the taxpayers.
Prior to construction of the facility, the project was hit with many obstacles. First, there were legislative disputes that resulted from objections to the complex, then environmentalists were concerned about the issue of wildlife preservations and air pollution from the increase of cars. Despite these problems, the Authority pushed the project along, hiring real estate consultants, accountants, bond attorneys and brokerage firms.
In September of 1973, New Jersey Governor-elect Brendan Byrne negotiated a new lease with the Giants, and the sale of bonds began and was completed in 1974. Simultaneous construction of the racetrack and stadium began in 1972. September 1, 1976 marked the opening of the Meadowlands racetrack. The Giants made their debut in Giants Stadium on October 10, 1976 against the Dallas Cowboys before a sellout crowd.
Giants Stadium got a new look for the 2000 season when the playing surface was natural grass for the first time. The grass was grown in a series of replaceable trays, which was allowed workers to remove tray containing worn or poor grass and replacing them with a fresh tray. The trays were used for three years, through the 2002 season but never succeeded as planned. The field was often brown and bumpy, and by the end of the 2002 season, new sod had to be installed to cover what had essentially become an unplayable field.
The 2003 season marked the debut of a new surface of FieldTurf, a state of the art synthetic grass field. FieldTurf looks like real grass and has been installed on more than 550 sports surfaces in 25 countries in the previous three years (including NFL stadiums in Detroit and Chicago). Under its surface is what FieldTurf calls, “a special silica sand, cryogenic rubber and Nike Grind filling.” That filling includes sneakers. Drainage is said to be immediate, and
the heat on the field – which was a problem with previous artificial surfaces - is supposed to be dispersed to the rubber layer below the surface.