Metlife Stadium vs AT&T Stadium Compared [Which is Best?]


AT&T Stadium and MetLife Stadium are two of the most popular NFL Stadiums. Despite being built only one year apart, there are some significant differences in these two stadiums that affect fan experience.

MetLife StadiumAT&T Stadium
Roof TypeNo roofRetractable roof
Field TypeNatural grassArtificial turf
Capacity~82,500 for football games~80,000 seats up to 100,000 standing room for football games
DesignCircular bowl with outer façadeModern design with retractable roof
Year Built20102009
Concession Rank18/3215/32
Tailgating AllowedYesYes
Construction Cost$1.7B$1.48B
ParkingSurface LotsSurface Lots

In this article let’s take a closer look at how MetLife Stadium vs AT&T Stadium compares regarding design and fan experience.

The Biggest Differences Between MetLife Stadium vs AT&T Stadium

One of the most significant differences between the two stadiums is their approach to weather protection. AT&T Stadium features a retractable roof that can be opened or closed in minutes, providing climate control and protection from the elements.

This allows events to be held in a controlled environment, regardless of weather conditions. On the other hand, MetLife Stadium does not have a retractable roof, meaning that events are subject to the natural elements, offering a more authentic outdoor experience.

The type of playing surface in each stadium is another difference. MetLife Stadium uses a natural grass playing surface. AT&T Stadium uses an advanced artificial turf playing surface. The artificial surface is required inside AT&T Stadium since the roof would block access to consistent sunlight for natural grass growth.

Both MetLife Stadium and AT&T Stadium have unique and iconic designs, but they differ in their architectural aesthetics. MetLife Stadium features a circular inner bowl and an outer façade with a modern yet functional design.

AT&T Stadium is known for its larger-than-life appearance, characterized by its striking retractable roof and massive high-definition video board, known as the “JerryTron.” The stadium’s design incorporates cutting-edge technology and modern aesthetics that sets it apart from many other stadiums.

Metlife Stadium vs AT&T Stadium Basic Information

Capacity

Is Metlife Stadium Larger Than AT&T Stadium?

MetLife Stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 82,500 for football games. In comparison, AT&T Stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 80,000 for football games. However, AT&T Stadium is considered to have the larger capacity because it has standing room only seating up to 100,000 fans.

Roof Type

MetLife Stadium does not feature a roof, exposing events to natural weather conditions including rain, snow, and sun. Although bad weather can have a negative affect on fan experience, many fans prefer an authentic outdoor stadium experience for football games.

In contrast, AT&T Stadium has a modern retractable roof. The roof allows for the stadium to be climate controlled, ensuring a comfortable environment for attendees regardless of weather conditions.

Location

MetLife Stadium is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It is conveniently situated near major highways and is accessible from both New York City and New Jersey. Its prime location makes it easily reachable for fans from various regions.

AT&T Stadium is located in Arlington, Texas, between Dallas and Fort Worth. The stadium’s central location in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex ensures accessibility for fans from both cities, and its proximity to major highways simplifies travel to and from the venue.

Field Type

MetLife Stadium features a natural grass playing surface. Natural grass surfaces are known for their soft texture, which can reduce the impact on players during physical activities. However, natural grass surfaces are subject to weather conditions and require ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal playing conditions.

In comparison, AT&T Stadium is uses an advanced artificial turf playing surface. The artificial turf offers several advantages, including consistent playing conditions. Because AT&T Stadium uses a roof, the artificial surface is required since consistent sunlight is needed for natural grass growth.

Tailgating

Yes, Metlife Stadium allows tailgating prior to games. Tents or canopies cannot exceed an 8’ x 8’ footprint and vehicles measuring more than 18’ in length and/or 8’ in width are not permitted to park in a lined parking spaces (source).

Yes, AT&T Stadium also allows tailgating. However, tailgating is only permitted in the grass areas on the perimeter of the parking lots. The maximum area that any single tailgate space may occupy is 9-feet wide and 12-feet deep (source).

Tailgating policies are subject to change and can vary based on type of event, so contacting stadium staff prior to event is advised.

Concessions

ESPN recently did an interesting breakdown comparing the concessions of all 32 NFL teams. This included comparing:

  • number of concession areas versus square footage
  • number of concessions versus capacity
  • price of a beer
  • price of a hot dog
AT&T MetLife
Concession by sq. ft26,786 ft²20,388 ft²
Concession per capacity1 per 714 peopleNot Listed
Price of Small Beer$9.50$11.00
Price of Hot Dog$6.00$16.00
NFL Rank15/3218/32

This information ESPN provided was based on year 2022. Obviously, this information is subject to change over time, but this gives us an idea how these stadiums compare regarding concessions.

Overall, these stadiums are both ranked near the middle of the pack according to this ESPN ranking index. MetLife Stadium has more concessions per square foot, but is a bit more expensive that AT&T Stadium.

It’s worth noting that the $16 that ESPN listed for the price of a hot dog at MetLife seems high (meaning that data may be incorrect). This report listed the price of a hot dog at MetLife as $6.50 for the 21-22 season, which seems much more accurate.

Noise Level

Is MetLife Stadium louder than AT&T Stadium?

Although there has not been any official comparison regarding the noise level of MetLife Stadium vs AT&T Stadium, most football experts agree that AT&T Stadium is a bit louder. Why?

  • Dome vs Open-Air – The fact that AT&T Stadium has a roof means sound is trapped inside the stadium. MetLife does not have a roof and is instead an open-air stadium. Although there can be exceptions (see Kansas City and Seattle), roofed stadiums are generally louder and better at trapping noise.
  • Consensus Rankings – Most rankings have AT&T Stadium as a top 10 NFL stadium regarding noise level but do not have MetLife ranked in the top 10. This includes lists from NBC and Fan Buzz.

Ticket Prices

NFL ticket prices are affected by many things, such as market size, team performance, strength of schedule, and superstar players. It is well-known that the Dallas Cowboys are considered “America’s Team”, and have a large, loyal following. However, both the New York Jets and New York Giants have strong, loyal fanbases.

How do the ticket prices compare for these teams? TickPick recently did a study that compared the ticket prices of NFL teams from 2018-2022 (minus 2020). Here are the results:

NFL Team2018201920212022AverageNFL Rank
New York Jets$88$117$41$121$9232/32
New York Giants$137$152$83$167$13522/32
Dallas Cowboys$141$258$107$175$17014/32

It’s important to understand that this data also includes the cost of road games, but this helps illustrate the overall recent trends of ticket prices for the NFL teams that play in MetLife Stadium and AT&T Stadium.

Is MetLife Stadium Better Than AT&T Stadium?

Which is better often comes down to your specific preferences. Do you prefer a climate-controlled stadium that prioritizes modern ? Then AT&T Stadium is the better option. But if you prefer a more authentic, traditional gameday experience in an open-air stadium, then MetLife will be the better option.

Although rankings are subjective, we can look at ESPN’s rankings to compare these two stadiums. ESPN recently ranked MetLife as the 21st best NFL stadium and ranked AT&T Stadium as the 6th best NFL stadium.

ESPN praises AT&T Stadium for the modern video board that “goes from one 20-yard line to the other, giving Cowboys fans an up-close and personal view of the action on the field no matter where in the stadium they are sitting.”

For MetLife, ESPN has concerns that “the aesthetic isn’t great”, and experts think a current boost from playoff experiences are needed to increase the overall energy for the NYG and NYJ fanbases, which can affect the atmosphere inside the stadium on gameday.

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