Eagles Unveil $125 Million Plan For the Linc

The Eagles have released the details of the $125 million revitalization project already underway at Lincoln Financial Field.

The 10-year-old stadium is undergoing a significant make-over in an effort to enhance the fans’ gameday experience.

“We have had discussions with season-ticket holders over the past couple of seasons to find out what was important to them,” said team president Don Smolenski. “We listened and developed a plan of action. The revitalization of Lincoln Financial Field that will take place over the next two years is a direct result of those conversations.”

Some of the changes will be much more noticeable than others. They include:

HD Video Boards

New high-definition video boards in both end zones along with an upgraded sound system. The boards will have the ability to expand in size (over the advertisements) to accentuate a big moment. LED ribbon-board displays will be placed along each side of the stadium to make it easier to get real-time stats and scores.

 

Seating Bowl Expansion

An additional 1,600 seats will be added (an estimated 800 in the Southwest corner, 600 in the Northeast corner and 200 in the Northwest corner).

The extra seats will further close in the stadium, which in theory should help keep more of the noise in.

“We’ve been very happy with the sound,” said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, “but we never want to sacrifice. We want to keep the sound in – that’s big.”

Two bridges will be built in the Southwest corner that will allow fans in the upper concourse to get from the home to the visiting side of the stadium easier. And a new escalator will be built on the west side.

Showcasing Eagles History

There will be images of the best players and moments displayed throughout the lower and upper concourses, as well as the club and suite levels.

Change At the Gates

The three main gate entrances will be expanded so that fans can get into the stadium more quickly. At the Verizon Wireless entrance, you’ll see that the gate is actually being moved to the bottom of the steps.

Wi-Fi

An integrated Wi-Fi system will be installed that will feature 600 access points that are expected to accommodate 40,000 simultaneous users. Access to Wi-Fi will be free of charge.

Suite And Club Level Enhancements

All of the suites will be refurbished, and will feature personally selected images of the best players and moments in Eagles history. A food market will be installed in each club lounge. And the Touchdown Club will move inside and housed in a 5,000 square-foot space.

Retired Numbers/Banners

The retired numbers will be displayed in the stadium bowl. On the opposite side, banners reflecting team accomplishments (conference and division titles, etc.).

The historical imagery, entrance gate expansion, Wi-Fi system, concession-stand upgrades, Touchdown Club and suite renovations and pro-shop expansions are to be completed for the upcoming season, according to the team.

The video boards, bridges and club-level enhancements won’t be in place until next season.

Why all the changes? Teams are competing with the couch, essentially.

Watching the games at home in HD with quick access to your fantasy scores and the Red Zone channel is good living. The quality of the home-viewing experience “requires teams to be very vigilant about investing in their relatively new stadiums,” said Lurie. “You can let it play out until you are really sort of behind the 8-ball as a stadium; why not take it and be ahead of the curve? That’s what this is all about.”

No public funds are being used for this renovation, according to the team. The money will come from the Eagles, and the NFL will be providing financing support. This project is completely separate from the green initiative (solar panels, etc.) going on at the Linc.

Lurie stated earlier this offseason that he will push for Philadelphia to host a Super Bowl if New York is a success next year. While the renovations aren’t being done specifically with the Super Bowl in mind, the Eagles’ owner knows it can’t hurt their chances.

“When you are bidding for a Super Bowl the committee looks very closely at your stadium, your city, what you can host. Philadelphia would be a great place,” he said.

Leading up to this project the Eagles explored the idea of a retractable roof (and even asked if it was possible to put on a temporary roof if they were to host the Super Bowl). Ultimately they deemed that to be too large of an undertaking.

“And do our fans really want to have a permanent roof? I don’t think so,” said Lurie. “We’ve always surveyed our fans, when we built the stadium, do you they to have a domed stadium? And it was very obvious of course not in Philadelphia.”

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Picking a Winner for Our Wine & Food Festival Contest

up-vote

Rather than leaving the task of picking a winner for our Wine & Food Festival contest up to us. We thought it might be more fun to let you all vote.

So take a look at all the stories of the greatest glass of wine people have ever had and pick your favorite. Click the Up Vote button in the comments and the story with the most positive votes gets the VIP tickets.

You can still submit your story till 5 p.m. today Monday and we’ll announce the winner at 4 p.m. on Monday on Tuesday. So get to writing, get to voting and get to telling your friends to vote. After all, maybe you’ll invite them to come with you.

Wine & Food Festival [Philadelphia Magazine]

Philadelphia Ties in the Latest Lucky Peach

Issue 4 of Lucky Peach is now on newsstands and there are a couple of local connections within David Chang’s quarterly journal of food and writing. Tom Lax profiles the Schmitter for a foodie audience. The Schmitter of course is a combination of cheese, steak, grilled salami, tomatoes, fried onions and special sauce served on a kaiser roll. It’s the sandwich of record at McNally’s in Chestnut Hill, and can also be found at Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field. Hawk Krall who seems to be everywhere right now also has an illustration featured in the magazine. Look for the American Food Issue of Lucky Peach at Barnes and Noble or do what we did and pick up a copy at Cook.

Eagles Plan Brew Pub

The Sports Business Journal has the details on the $70 million refurb for ten-year old Lincoln Financial Field. Of most interest to the Foobooz audience is the mention of a stand alone brew pub.

A brewpub, which would be a free-standing building, also is proposed for the HeadHouse Plaza, a 100,000-square-foot area outside the stadium now used for interactive zones and corporate tailgating before Eagles games, college football and other special events.

No mention of what brewery would run the brew pub but that won’t stop us from hoping that the Eagles keep it local.

Eagles plan a big Linc refurb [Sports Business Journal]

Quick Bites

8 East has opened in Conshohocken. Open for lunch and dinner  and brunch on Sunday, this 1st Avenue spot features 20 drafts and a menu of simple sandwiches, burgers and entrees. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Local 44 is looking for neighborhood help as it hopes to expand next door along Spruce Street. Visit and sign the petition. [Local 44]

Lincoln Financial Field joins Citizens Bank Park in getting accolades from PETA. The organization skipped the Vick issue and named the stadium the friendliest for vegetarians. [Grub Street]

Meal Ticket has more on Granite Hill, Stephen Starr’s take on the restaurant at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. [Meal Ticket]

News for People Who Like Bad News

Deux Cheminees not going Greek – Photo via 1221locust.com

Ulysses Voyage which was supposed to take over the space that was Deux Cheminees is “officially on hold pending financing.” We’re not sure why but we never had faith that project was going to happen. [Philly.com via Grub Street]

ESPN does an expose on just how gross stadium food is. Philadelphia stadiums do better than many but violations were still plentiful. [ESPN]

The original Darling’s on 20th near Pine has closed. [The Insider]

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