In the late 1940's and into the 50's, the New York Football Giants were struggling financially. They desperately needed to put more bodies in the seats. The team they were putting on the field was okay, but that didn't seem to be the problem. So maybe it was the stadium. The Polo Grounds, where they were playing their home games, was not bringing in the clientele that the Giants felt they needed to survive. They were looking for the corporate folks, the big spenders, the in crowd.
The phone call that would ultimately turn the franchise around came in 1955. NFL Commissioner Bert Bell called Giants owner Tim Mara with news that he had a million dollar offer from an oil mogul to buy the Giants. The only condition on this deal was that the team had to move from the Polo Grounds to Yankee Stadium. The Mara family didn't want to sell, but $1 million was difficult to reject. After much debate Wellington Mara had a revelation - if the Giants are worth $1 million in Yankee Stadium, let's move to Yankee Stadium without selling. So Mara rejected the offer and on January 27, 1956 a deal was finalized to move the Giants to a new home.
Yankee Stadium in the foreground, Polo Grounds in the background
The first game at Yankee Stadium was a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 21, 1956. The crowds came as expected. Their new home was a hit. In fact, it was such a hit that the Giants went on to win the 1956 NFL Championship.
Football in Yankee Stadium
Since that time the Giants have moved to the Meadwolands Complex in New Jersey and another move is coming this year. Anyone think a new stadium bring luck to the 2010 New York Football Giants?