As fans anticipate the National Football League (NFL) Draft this week, the news of a lawsuit filed by one football fan may further peek their interest. The plaintiff’s claim focuses on the realization that the New York Jets and the New York Giants do not, in fact, host home games in New York, but rather, are based out of East Rutherford, NJ. MetLife Stadium serves as the home field to both teams; however, the location of the stadium contradicts the geography of the teams’ representation. While it is widely known that both teams practice and play in New Jersey, a New York City resident has initiated a class action lawsuit, accusing the teams of illegally profiting from the New York name.
Within the lawsuit, in which the plaintiff and potential claimants are seeking $6 billion, it is argued that Jets or Giants fans may not necessarily attend games if they were provided advanced notice that MetLife is not located in New York. The New York name apparently carries more weight or value and is a smarter choice for advertising purposes than the use of ‘New Jersey.’ The fans that may not realize the distance between New York City and East Rutherford, NJ assume the burden of travel costs or transportation fees. After home games, car service companies have reportedly charged up to $400 per car to transport fans back to New York City.
The plaintiff presents the inconvenience of proximity as the reason why the home games of both the Jets and Giants are the least attended in the NFL. Others argue that the number of wins in any particular season may play a significant factor in low fan attendance rate. Regardless of why fans do or do not travel to MetLife, it is clear that the NFL has used the New York name for beneficial branding purposes. The NFL has engaged in this practice with other teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, located in Arlington, TX, and the San Francisco 49ers, located in Santa Clara, CA.