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MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season

Bracha Arnold
December 12, 2023
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season

MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ, is a massive arena with a capacity of 82,500. And while the stadium hosts a wide range of events, it also serves as the home for two New York football teams – the Jets and the Giants. 

Analyzing the stadium’s trade area on game days can reveal similarities and differences between the fan bases of the two Big Apple-based teams. Which type of audience comes out to cheer for the Jets? And who visits the MetLife Stadium when the Giants are playing? We dove into the visitation data to find out. 

Where Do MetLife Visitors Come From?

New York has two football teams, partly due to the area’s large population. Both teams have been around for decades – the Giants were founded in 1925 and played in iconic stadiums like Yankee Stadium, while the Jets began playing together in 1959. The two teams moved from venue to venue before signing a 99-year lease that guaranteed home game rights at the yet-to-be-built MetLife Stadium

And though there is no official geographical division between the two teams’ fanbase, New Yorkers claim that Jets fans hail from Long Island while Giants fans are scattered across the rest of the city. 

Trade area data for visitors to games at MetLife Stadium reinforce these claims. Both teams seem to enjoy a significant fan base in New York. And perhaps thanks to the stadium’s location in New Jersey, many visitors during both teams’ games also come from the Garden State. But the Jets do seem to have an advantage on Long Island. When the Giants played the Dallas Cowboys on September 10th, 2023, the number of visitors coming from Long Island seemed smaller than it was the following day when the Jets played the Buffalo Bills in the same stadium. The same pattern can be seen when comparing MetLife’s trade area on October 1st 2023 (when the Jets played the Kansas City Chiefs) and on October 22nd (when the Giants played the Washington Commanders).

Still, the stadium does draw attendees from many different trade areas – when the Giants and the Jets hashed it out on their home turf on October 29th, 2023 visits were evenly distributed across the state as football fans flocked to the stadium to support their respective teams. Similarly, game-day visitors to MetLife from Brooklyn showed almost no variance in visitation patterns, suggesting that team divisions are less pronounced in that area.

Fanalysis: Who Comes To Games?

Digging into the demographic data for the two teams reveals that, rivalries aside, New York football fans have more in common with each other than not. The typical visitor to MetLife Stadium on days when the Giants or the Jets were playing earned well above the New York State salary, with a median household income (HHI) ranging from $111.4K/year to $121.8K/year. Trade area size – or the distance between the stadium and the home location of football game attendees – was also similar. 

The similarities between visitors reveal that most New York football fans can find similarities with each other. And businesses looking to market these fans may use similar campaigns to appeal to both teams’ fans given these commonalities.

Winning Touchdown

Baseball may be America’s pastime, but football is the country’s favorite sport by far. And though team rivalries can be a way of life for sports fans, at least in New York, it looks like fans have more in common than not.

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