Mike Francesa is right.
MetLife Stadium stinks.
The WFAN legend was asked which venue is better — Citi Field or Yankee Stadium — via listener email on his latest BetRivers podcast. Francesa scored the fight in favor of the Amazins, saying “the Mets built a ballpark, the Yankees built a museum.” And then the big guy turned his fire toward the Meadowlands and the concrete air conditioner the Giants and Jets operate out of.
“When it comes to building ballparks in the metropolitan area, and there are a lot of reasons why, we do a terrible job,” Francesa said. “We are the biggest city in the world, we are the most important city in the world, and we never build a show place in sports. No one ever says, ‘Oh, you’ve got to get to this ballpark in New York.’ You can say that about what they built in Atlanta, you can that about what they built in Dallas, you can say about what they built in [Los Angeles].
“We don’t build places like that.”
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Francesa said MetLife Stadium — which opened in 2010 — is possibly “the worst big stadium, I think, ever built.”
“There is one of the few stadiums that was rebuilt where the old stadium (Giants Stadium) was not only more popular, it was better than the stadium they built,” he said.
“It is disappointing in every way. And it ruined the Giants franchise, because what it did to the fanbase with the seat licenses and the moving of their real fans to different parts of the ballpark. To me, they lost a lot. That stadium had a huge impact on the fortunes of the Giants for a decade. They’ve come out of that now for the first time, but that is a big part of why they went into this downward spiral. That stadium is a complete disappointment. Nobody likes it.”
• Yes, FedEx Field is objectively worse. But there is no glory in being slightly better than something operated by Daniel Snyder.
• Francesa’s take about the Giants’ struggles might seem a bit extreme, but there is likely truth to it. They won their second Super Bowl of the Eli Manning era in Year 2 of the building and they have never enjoyed anywhere near the same homefield advantage as the old place.
• The big picture issue: Put the myriad reasons why MetLife Stadium is what it is aside. The truth remains that it is a self-inflicted disaster for the region. A state-of-the-art building with a roof would regularly host Super Bowls and Final Fours and WrestleManias. And it would have already been awarded the 2026 World Cup final and the 2031 Rugby World Cup final. And this reality is why the Jets’ lease exit windows will remain a topic of speculation.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.