The Empire State Building lights change frequently in recognition local and national events. The top floors of the building glow red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July and turn rainbow for Pride Month. On Christmas, the spire is a luminous red-and-white striped candy cane. Normally, the changing displays are well-received, but last night, to the shock and horror of New York Giants fans, the Empire State Building glowed green and white to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles win against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. But what some New Yorkers may not know is that while the Art Deco building didn’t know who would win the championship games, that the building would light up for the winning teams was a scheduled event. In fact, all colored light events at the Empire State Building are published on a calendar.
— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) January 29, 2023
Normally, New Yorkers don’t care about what’s going on in Philly, with one exception: The Eagles–New York Giants rivalry. On Twitter, many Giants fans expressed hurt and astonishment over the Empire State Building’s colors last night, an especially rub-salt-in-the-wound move after the Eagles defeated the Giants 38–7 in last week’s Divisional playoffs.
The face of every NY Giants fan looking at the Empire State Building tonight. pic.twitter.com/66OgdtE3Ru
— Joel M. Petlin (@Joelmpetlin) January 30, 2023
@NYCMayor i want to report a crime
— David Hill (@davehill77) January 30, 2023
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) January 29, 2023
For anyone who finds this as treacherous, traitorous, and unforgivable as we do – just pretend it’s green and white for #NewYorksStrongest. We take out the trash every day…and next year, that’ll include the Eagles. https://t.co/6vgfub5ZHw
— NYC Sanitation (@NYCSanitation) January 30, 2023
This isn’t the first time the lights have changed to honor the Philadelphia team. In 2018, the building’s upper floors were illuminated in green and white in recognition of Eagles’ 2018 Super Bowl win—a decision that sparked similar outrage at the time.
Last night’s Eagles–49ers game ended around 6:00 p.m. New York time, but as football fans know, there was another playoff game later that night. When the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship, the Empire State Building issued a mea culpa as it changed its colors to celebrate the Chiefs victory:
That hurt us more than it hurt you.
— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) January 30, 2023