Jets News

This Date in New York Jets History: Jets Can Play Early Season Games at Home

By Alan Schechter

For many years, the Jets were not allowed to play at Shea Stadium until November. That was until May 26, 1977.

We go back to the seventies for “This Date in New York Jets History”. The date was May 26, 1977, and the Jets earned a very important win in court which added some ease to their schedule which they didn’t have in the past.

First, a little bit of background to set this up.

Shea Stadium opened up in 1964, and the Mets moved in at that point, as well as the Jets. The Jets debuted at their new Queens home in September of 1964. However, due to the fact that the building was predominantly a baseball stadium, and the Mets owned it, leasing space to the Jets, the Jets weren’t allowed to play there until the baseball season was over. For those of us that weren’t around to remember that, imagine facing the grind of football season, without playing a home game, minimum until mid-October. And the season was only 14 games back then.

Well the Jets fought this, and it all changed on this date in Jets’ history, in 1977.

After battling this issue for two months in the courts, the Jets were guaranteed 2 September home games, and 2 October home games, beginning with the 1978 season, and continuing through end of the Jets’ lease at Shea, the 1983 season. Obviously this is a big deal, as it would have been quite the hardship to not be able to play a home game for at least six weeks.

Furthermore, for the 1977 season, the Jets were granted 2 preseason games and their regular season opener at the Meadowlands. So even though they weren’t entitled to Shea early in 1977, at least they were able to play early games in the NY area.

This date, in Jets’ history.