The architects were tasked with designing a neutral stadium that would still embody the distinct personalities of both franchises. The Giants favored a traditional look of exposed steel framework and rusticated stone while the Jets wanted a sleek and modern look highlighted by metal and glass. With those features in mind the designers used the column/tower dynamic seen in many of Manhattan's skyscrapers as inspiration for the stadium's design.
The base of the stadium's facade is clad in limestone-like stonework while the rest of the stadium is distinguished by an outer skin of aluminum louvers and glass and by interior lighting capable of switching colors, depending on which team is currently playing–blue for the Giants and green for the Jets. This idea originated at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany; which was previously shared between the city's two major soccer clubs, Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich. Unlike Giants Stadium, MetLife Stadium can easily be reconfigured for the Giants or Jets within a matter of hours. The louvers' total linear length is exactly 50,000 meters (50 kilometers) or 163,681 feet (31.1 miles).
Front row 50 yard line seats are 46 feet (14 m) away from the sideline, which is the shortest distance of all NFL stadiums. To change the field decorations, two 4-person crews take approximately 18 hours using forklifts and other machinery to remove the 40 sections of Act Global UBU Speed Series which make up the teams' respective end zones. Unlike most NFL stadiums, the NFL's logo is painted at midfield, instead of the logo of one of the teams, also shortening the transition time. Replaceable team logos at midfield were removed in August 2010, after Domenik Hixon tore his anterior cruciate ligament at a practice at the stadium during training camp. If the two teams are playing each other, the designated home team will have its configuration around the stadium. During their annual preseason matchup, both the Giants and the Jets will have an end zone with their team logo.
Unlike a number of other new NFL venues, MetLife Stadium does not have a roof, as proposals to include a roof failed, over a dispute for funding. Thus, indoor events such as the Final Four cannot be held at the facility, which runs counter to the original aims for a new arena in northern New Jersey.
Ten giant HD-ready light emitting diode (LED) pylons, located at the north, south, east and west entrances, display videos of the team currently in-house. The pylons measure approximately 54 feet (16 m) high by 20 feet (6.1 m) wide. Inside, are four 30 feet (9.1 m) by 116 feet (35 m) HD video displays, and hang from each corner of the upper deck.