MetLife Stadium named NFL players’ least favorite place to play
Visiting teams don’t love playing the Jets and Giants — and it has nothing to do with either’s on-field performance.
MetLife Stadium was named the NFL’s worst venue to play in, according to The Athletic’s anonymous player poll, garnering 18.4 percent of the vote — well ahead of second-place FedEx Field, home of the Commanders, at 13.9 percent.
Specific complaints about the East Rutherford, N.J., site weren’t exactly surprising, with the oft-maligned turf being a focal point.
One respondent noted that the “turf sucks and the whole place is lame,” while another went a step further, saying the “fans are horrible. Everything about that place is horrible.”
The Jets have worked to upgrade their fan experience in recent years — they’ve introduced pyrotechnics, lasers, T-shirt cannons, a sing-along national anthem and LED bracelets that create a stadium-wide strobe light effect — but neither they nor the Giants have been able to quell complaints about the field itself.
The teams installed a synthetic field this season after several high-profile injuries and complaints from players, though they hope for a more permanent solution.
“I foresee a day, my hope is we can get to a day at some point in the future when we can have a grass field that we’re able to maintain with two different teams and all the other events we have,” Giants owner John Mara said at the NFL meetings in March. “I think we can get there at some point, Maybe it’s a hybrid product or something.”
MetLife will be forced to transition to a grass field when it hosts the World Cup in 2026, and players around the league will be keeping an eye on the upgrades.
“The players have been vocal and clear about this issue and it is a good step to hear them that change needs to be made,” the NFLPA said in a statement to ESPN last November it was announced MetLife Stadium would be upgrading the turf.
“The change will not come soon enough, though, for players who will be at greater risk the rest of the season.
“We expect that whatever surface gets installed next year will meet the highest safety and performance standards possible.”