Giants Stadium was the first major league sporting venue in New Jersey (though the Brooklyn Dodgers had played some home games in Jersey
City in 1957), and its success, along with that of the Giants in the 1980s was a major impetus behind increased pride and enthusiasm among
New Jersey residents.
Because the Jets play in a stadium named for another NFL team, the Jets officially refer to the site as simply The Meadowlands, as do all official
NFL and team game notes regarding Jets home games.
Giants Stadium opened on 1976-10-10, as 76,042 fans witnessed a loss by the Giants to the Dallas Cowboys. College football made its debut at
Giants Stadium on 1976-10-23, with Rutgers defeating Columbia 47-0.
The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League moved to Giants Stadium for the 1977 season and remained until the league folded
In 1984, the New York Jets became co-tenants with the Giants.
Other professional football teams that have called Giants Stadium home over the years include the New Jersey Generals of the USFL; the New
York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football; and the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL.
The stadium has also hosted numerous college football games, including the Garden State Bowl from 1978-1981; the Kickoff Classic from 1983
to 2002; the New York Urban League Classic since 1981; a number of Rutgers homes games; several Notre Dame-Navy and Notre Dame-Army
games; and the Army-Navy Game on three occasions, most recently in 2002. Syracuse University also played two home games at Giants
Stadium during the 1979 season, against West Virginia and Penn State, while the Carrier Dome was under construction. Columbia also played
some home games at Giants Stadium in 1983, due to construction at its home stadium. Temple University, needing a home field due to a
schedule conflict with Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, used Giants Stadium as their home field versus Penn State in September 1996.
Princeton University also played one home game at Giants Stadium (against Yale University) during the construction of Princeton's new stadium
Nine games of the 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament were held at Giants Stadium (including one semifinal), along with several games of
the 1999 Women's World Cup. In 2003, the SuperCoppa Italiana, an annual match pitting the winners of Serie A (Italy's top division) and the
Coppa Italia (Italian Cup), was held in Giants Stadium instead of in Italy because both clubs involved (Juventus and AC Milan) were touring the
United States late in the summer, when the event is normally scheduled. In 2005, it played host to many matches to the CONCACAF Gold Cup,
including the final which saw the USA victorious over Panama in a 3-1 penalty shootout after both sides failed to score goals during regulation
and extra time. It has seen many European soccer tours in recent years paying venue to such big clubs as Manchester United,Celtic F.C,
Chelsea, Liverpool, and many others. In 2006, the Red Bulls set a franchise attendance record in an exhibition game against FC Barcelona, with
the stadium fully sold-out for the first time.
The largest crowd to ever attend an event at Giants Stadium was 82,948, as Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass during a rainstorm on October
Concerts have also been a part of the Giants Stadium experience, with notable acts such as as Bruce Springsteen, Grateful Dead, The Rolling
Stones, Depeche Mode, Green Day, and Bon Jovi taking the stage before appreciative audiences. Bruce Springsteen played 10 nights in
support of his The Rising tour during the summer of 2003. The majority of the Paradise City music video by Guns N' Roses was filmed at the
stadium in 1988. There is also a major ski apparel equipment sale each year at the stadium.
For some years, a popular urban legend purported that the remains of Jimmy Hoffa had been buried under one of the end zones at Giants
Stadium. This led a wag in Sports Illustrated to suggest that "This lends new meaning to the term coffin corner!"
Thanks largely to the dual occupancy of Giants Stadium by two NFL teams since 1984, it has surpassed Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago
Bears for fifty seasons) as the venue to have hosted more NFL games than any other in league history.