Which of the NFL’s New York Teams Is More Popular in NYC?


  • The New York Giants have dominated NYC ticket sales for 12 years, despite the Jets’ popularity in 2023.
  • The Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers, leading to maximum prime-time games and increased viewer interest.
  • The jets are currently more popular than the Giants in NYC, but popularity can shift quickly.

Despite being one of the largest cities in the world, New York has historically been known for its iconic sports teams, including the New York Giants and the New York Jets. Despite playing in two different conferences, there’s always been this sibling-type of rivalry. Ironically enough, they haven’t actually played each other all that often outside their yearly preseason meeting.

Head-to-head in the regular season, it’s been pretty evenly matched. Currently, the Giants have an 8-7 record against the Jets all-time. But, that doesn’t necessarily relate to popularity. And popularity can change at any given time, especially with the acquisition of a superstar quarterback.

There are so many different ways to determine popularity in the NFL. Between ticket sales and prime-time games, it’s not as clear-cut to determine who is more popular. But, we’re going to find a way.

Ticket Sales

The Giants have dominated ticket sales in New York for the last 10+ years

Giants fans cheering loudly at Metlife Stadium
Credit: Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

In 2022, the Giants’ generated $99 million in ticket sales, compared to the Jets’ $79 million, according to Statista. Since 2010, the Giants haven’t had a season where they generated less than $85 million in ticket sales. Now, this feels like a pretty straight forward way to already declare the Giants as New York City’s most popular NFL team, right? But there are reasons this has been the case.

Simply put, the Jets haven’t been good since 2010. With a historic playoff drought, it’s easy to understand why Jets fans may not want to attend home games. Teams that also aren’t having as much success don’t have as high ticket prices, which plays a part in why the Jets’ ticket sales revenue is much lower.

Even with the Giants dominating ticket sales in the last 12 years, their franchise net worths are pretty similar. According to Statista, the Giants are worth $6.8 billion, whereas the Jets are worth $6.1 billion. There is still a pretty large difference between the two, but both NYC franchises fall within the top-8 most valuable NFL teams.

NYC Primetime

With the addition of Aaron Rodgers, the Jets are one of three NFL teams with the maximum number of prime-time games

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers
Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK

We did mention a superstar quarterback could change everything, and Aaron Rodgers drastically increased the popularity of the Jets. In 2022, the Jets were scheduled for only one prime-time game. A year later, after they traded for Rodgers, the Jets were scheduled for six prime-time games, the maximum number of prime-time games that they could be scheduled for.

Even after Rodgers tore his achilles, the Jets were once again scheduled for six prime-time games in 2024.

It’s amazing how much one player can drastically increase the interest in a team, but its clear NFL fans want to watch Rodgers play for the Jets. Despite Rodgers’ early departure in the Jets’ Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills, it attracted 22.6 million viewers, making it the highest-viewed Monday Night Football Game in NFL history.

Of course, that was broken later in the season by the Kansas City Chiefs-Philadelphia Eagles game, but it still goes to show the interest there is in watching Rodgers and the Jets.

Now compare that to the Giants, who are only scheduled for three prime-time games. It goes to show just how impactful the QB is on viewership, as the Giants are hoping Daniel Jones can replicate his 2022 success after an ACL tear. The way the Giants and Jets are constructed from a superstar level is very different, which could affect the perception of these two teams.

Despite a playoff win in 2022, the NFL media doesn’t appear to be very high on the Giants, whereas the media is willing to bet on the Jets following a 7-10 season. It’s not just Rodgers either, as the Jets also have superstars in WR Garrett Wilson, RB Breece Hall, and CB Sauce Gardner.

Sure, the Giants have some talented players on defense, including Kayvon Thibodeaux and Brian Burns, but they don’t bring the same level of interest as the Jets’ stars.

The Kings of New York

Garrett Wilson WR New York Jets 2023
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As it stands today, the Jets are the more popular team. They’re currently getting a lot more recognition across the NFL from the media and fans. Maybe there are more Giants fans in general, but the league as a whole cares a lot more about the Jets’ success than the Giants.

That isn’t to say that the Giants are the little brother in New York, either. The Giants have four Super Bowl championships whereas the Jets have only one. Even with the extremely high expectations for the Jets in 2024, the Giants have had a lot more recent success with a playoff win as recently as 2022.

Truly, the most popular team could change at any moment. If the Giants are able to make a play for Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott in the offseason, the popularity contest would immediately swing towards the Giants, and it wouldn’t be particularly close.

Unfortunately for the Giants, there’s just not as much interest currently as they’ve been unable to find a real successor to Eli Manning. The playing fields certainly aren’t even between these two teams as the Jets have a much better QB situation. However, the Giants made the mistake in extending Jones in the first place.

With Rodgers likely in the final two years or so of his NFL career, it will be fascinating to see if the Giants can make a move to steal back popularity in the Big Apple.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Referenceunless stated otherwise.


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