MetLife Stadium: NFL’s Greenest Stadiums Ever Built


Image Credit: Gabriel Argudo, Jr.

Image Credit: Gabriel Argudo, Jr.

The Super Bowl is this Sunday night and while a lot of attention is being given to who will win, the cold weather and the commercials I’d like to talk about the stadium where it will all take place. Construction on what was then known as the New Meadowlands Stadium began back in 2007 and incorporated a number of green and sustainable elements in its design and construction. MetLife Stadium is home to both the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

The stadium was built on a rehabilitated brownfield adjacent to the facility it was replacing, Giants Stadium. Construction included the use of 40,000 tons of recycled steel with 20,000 tons of steel and 30,000 tons of concrete being recycled when the old stadium was demolished. The seating in the stadium is made of recycled cast iron and plastic and 82 percent of the construction waste generated was recycled. Despite being twice the size of its predecessor MetLife Stadium is consuming less water and is more energy efficient than the old stadium was.

Annual water use was cut by 25 percent thanks to the installation of a synthetic turf, low-flow bathroom fixtures and waterless urinals, porous pavement and native plants. The new stadium is 30 percent more energy efficient through the use of an automated lighting control system, Low E coatings on the windows and the installation of Energy Star compliant equipment and lighting. A Solar Ring capable of generating 350,000 kWh of electricity was installed in 2012 and is comprised of 1,350 solar panels.

Despite all of these green and sustainable measures, LEED certification for the stadium was not pursued. In the end the stadium would probably have missed out on being LEED certified by a point or two due in part to the decision not to install required heavy-duty, insulated windows on the luxury boxes. The decision was made to go with less-insulated windows because the mullions needed for a tighter seal on more insulted windows would have obstructed views from luxury boxes. Instead of seeking LEED certification the New Meadowlands Stadium Company which owns the stadium signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back in 2009 as part of a partnership to establish and implement green programs for the construction and operation of the stadium.

Some of the other green stadiums around the NFL include the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field which was the first NFL stadium to be LEED-EB Certified and the Baltimore Ravens’ M & T Bank Stadium was awarded a LEED-EB Gold rating last year. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field achieved LEED-EB Silver certification last year and established a Go Green program back in 2003 in order to be more environmentally friendly. Levi’s Stadium which is currently under construction and the future home of the San Francisco 49ers is pursuing LEED Gold certification for new construction and is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2014 football season. Like MetLife Stadium, the 49ers new home will play host to the Super Bowl in 2016.

As an added bonus I’ve thrown together some facts and figures comparing Super Bowl I and Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII and their host stadiums.

Super Bowl I


Super Bowl XLVIII

January 15, 1967

Date Held

February 2, 2014

LA Memorial Coliseum


MetLife Stadium

Los Angeles, CA


East Rutherford, NJ

May 1, 1923

Date Opened

April 10, 2010

18 Months

Time For Completion

3 Years

John and Donald Parkinson


360 Architects

Ewing Cole

David Rockwell

Bruce Mau Designs

Edwards, Widley & Dixon Company

General Contractor

Skanska AB

$954, 873

Construction Cost

$1.6 billion

$13.1 million

Cost in 2014 Dollars

$1.71 billion


Seating Capacity




82,000 (Expected)

51.2 million

TV Viewership

108.4 million (Expected)


Cost For 30 Second TV Ad

$4 million


Cost in 2014 Dollars

$4 million

4 Responses to “MetLife Stadium: NFL’s Greenest Stadiums Ever Built”

  1. Rob Goldman January 31, 2014 at 7:34 AM #

    Met Life stadium may be an archetechts marvel but as a ticket holder it’s a very unfriendly stadium. It’s too big as you sit too far from the action. The higher your seat the further back you go. Once in, you are locked in your sections area with no access to other sections of the stadium. So much for seeing a friend at halftime. The first level is has too low an incline so if anyone older than a child sits in front of you your view is blocked. $300 a ticket and a blocked view? Who’s dumb idea was that? And over a billion dollars? What a fleecing of the public. Shame on all involved. While the architects and builders may be patting themselves on their back for this stadium, the fans and consumers who go to this boondoggle of a stadium think its one of the worst in the country and they’re correct. It’s not a stadium, it’s a large soup bowl. College stadiums are better. The old Meadowlands stadium was better. No matter how many industry awards it may receive, the public gives this stadium a “big fail”.

    • Kendall Jones January 31, 2014 at 7:43 AM #

      “And over a billion dollars? What a fleecing of the public.”

      The $1.6 billion to fund the construction was 100% from private investments. Public money was used however for funding of infrastructure such as highway improvements and a train station near the stadium.

  2. Bruce Wingate February 4, 2014 at 2:31 PM #

    The true green story about MetLife Stadium was the New York Giants and New York Jets decision to keep the project private. A reader responded that highway and road projects surrounding the stadium used public money. For those who travel and reside around Rutherford, Secaucus, and East Rutherford, these roads provide much needed transportation alternatives in Bergen County as well an improved access ramp to the New Jersey Turnpike.

    The other untold story about MetLife Stadium was the voluntarily, self-imposed diversity program for minority contractors, suppliers, and work force union workers. What the New York Giants and New York Jets did should be a model for every owner who is contemplating building a new sports stadium or arena. Outreach programs via expositions, joint ventures, 10 week construction management classes, and working closely with five New York / New Jersey certification bodies made this program a success for area M/WBE and DBE firms. No program could be successful without the decision makers’ commitment and financially support for their beliefs.

    The financial results of building an 83,000, 218 suite stadium with private money along with the opportunity provided by a successful diversity program that has no equal was phenomenal! How do I know this, I was the Diversity Program Manager.

    • Kendall Jones February 5, 2014 at 2:47 PM #

      Thanks for the comment Bruce and kudos on the diversity program. Do you have numbers or percentages of work done by M/W/DBEs? I’m curious to know what they were. The response regarding the public funds for transportation was more in response to an earlier comment about $1 billion was a fleecing of the public, not to say that the public money spent to improve local infrastructure was a bad thing.

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