In a concerted effort to lure Philadelphia Eagles fans away from their comfy couches on Sundays during the chillier months, $125 million in stadium upgrades has been spent over the past two years on Lincoln Financial Field (aka the Linc).
The Eagles organization claims to have solely funded this project (with some assistance from the NFL), although ticket price increases will help to offset this large investment.
In 2013 free wi-fi access for fans to better experience the game or check on their fantasy football teams was an exciting improvement for the organization. More proshops were added and concession stands were enhanced as well as expanded. Large murals honoring Eagles players throughout franchise history are now riddled throughout the suites, corridors, and even inside the elevators.(3)
By mid-summer 2014 the totality of changes should be completed. The Linc will boast two, large HD video boards at either endzone. The boards will be the clearest screens in the NFL thanks to a partnership with Panasonic.(7) Additionally LED ribbon boards, bridges that connect the upper concourse, and new HD TVs will be installed around the stadium.(3)
Within the previously-inefficient northeast, southwest, and northwest corners of the Linc (3), where the majority of fans enter the stadium, 1600 seats will be added to bring the total capacity to just over 69,000. Accordingly, the seating in more desirable sections will see higher price-points; not just in the new seats, but throughout the stadium. “The new seats will lead to changes in pricing as the team will now have eight categories of seats rather than the five categories they’ve had in the past. A little more than half the seats will see a price increase.”(1) The added seating will definitely result in a louder atmosphere–which is always an evident obstacle for opposing teams.
Another part of this massive upgrade project will include expanded entrance gates. As gametime approaches, the majority of fans rush the entrances, causing longer than ideal admittance-time into the stadium.
All of the these enhancements will make the Linc more alluring as a future Super Bowl venue. “Eagles team president Don Smolenski said this week that the quality of the stadium is one of the things that the league uses to judge cities vying for such honors.”(1) However, Philadelphia will have to wait until at least 2019, as Arizona, San Francisco, Houston and Minnesota are hosting through 2018.
Ready to go ahead and buy season tickets? Not so fast. 99.7% of season ticket holders renew their tickets each year, and currently there are 40,000 people on the waiting list.(8)