It was on August 26th, 1971 that the New York Giants shook up the sports world when they announced that they were moving to a new home in a new state: Big Blue was coming to New Jersey. The G-men had been playing their home games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and Giants owner Wellington Mara told the New York Times he did it to give the club its first real home after playing in New York for 46 years. He also said he wanted to give their fans a more convenient and pleasurable experience.

The Giants, along with New Jersey Governor William Cahill, announced the team would be moving to the $200 million sports complex that was to be built on the 750 acre tract of land in the New Jersey Meadowlands which the governor referred to as the “most valuable piece of real estate in the world.”

They planned on moving in 1975. The Giants became nomads waiting for their new home to be completed. Yankee Stadium was undergoing extensive renovations, so the Giants played two seasons in New Haven, Connecticut and one at Shea Stadium in Queens before taking up residency at Giants Stadium for the 1976 NFL season. When asked if the Giants would be changing their name to reflect their new home, Mara said, “It always has been and always will be the New York Giants.” The move was viewed as a major victory for Cahill and a serious blow to New York mayor Lindsay who threatened to take the team to court to strip them of the “New York” part of their name.

The stadium got an additional tenant eight years later; the New York Jets, who had been playing their home games at Shea Stadium for 20 years, moved across the river to play at Giants Stadium. The two NFL teams have shared a home ever since. Both the Giants and the Jets moved into a new stadium in the Meadowlands in 2010 which is now known as MetLife Stadium.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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