The Philadelphia Eagles unveiled the full renovation plans for Lincoln Financial Field, but, after hearing what those renovations include, I’m still not sold on what they’ll add to the in-game experience at the Linc.
The details of the renovations, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The privately financed project will include a seating expansion, two new high-definition video boards, upgraded amenities, WiFi installation, imagery of great moments and players throughout team history, and two new connecting bridges for the upper concourses.
The project was started in 2010 and has included research of season-ticket holders, the season-ticket advisory board, and focus groups of fans, as well as surveying architectural firms that have built stadiums since Lincoln Financial Field opened. Some of the changes will be completed for the 2013 season; all will be finished for 2014.
I’m on board with the upgraded video boards and amenities, adding WiFi, and all that jazz. But when you dive into the seating expansion, that’s where I think this project falls short. The Inquirer had this rendering to show what the expansion would look like, which adds roughly 1,600 seats, bringing the total to just overt 70,000.
While that’s a higher seating capacity than the old Veterans Stadium, all of the open air kills the fans-down-your-throat atmosphere. That’s what made Philly an awful place for visiting teams to come in to. The unfriendly confines of the Vet were extremely intimidating. No matter how shitty the Eagles teams were, the fans were unforgiving, they completely surrounded the field, and they were right on top of you. (Not to be forgotten is how unforgiving the cement field they played on was). These additional seats do a little to close in the stadium, but it’s not nearly enough.
Instead of going for some state-of-the-art-at-the-time stadium design, Jeffrey Lurie should have hopped on the opportunity to build a 100,000 seat building—along the lines of what sits in North Jersey right now—which would have been sold out every single Sunday, and would have been a thousand times as intimidating to play in as the Vet.
But hey, that’s just me.