Eagles unveil plans for Lincoln Financial Field renovation

A rendering, right, shows added seating and an upper-concourse bridge in the southwest corner of Lincoln Financial Field. A total of 1,600 seats will be added to the stadium.
A rendering, right, shows added seating and an upper-concourse bridge in the southwest corner of Lincoln Financial Field. A total of 1,600 seats will be added to the stadium.
Posted: June 10, 2013

After 10 seasons at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles are investing $125 million to renovate the stadium during the next two years.

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.

"It's kind of on a dual road there having architectural input on what can be done globally, and with the fans, what are they really hoping for from this fairly brand-new stadium that they haven't quite got yet or that could be better," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "It was a listening process. The result became an investment - based on, really, the fan response."

The Eagles chose Gensler as its architectural firm and Turner Construction Co. Eagles president Don Smolenski, who helped with the original plans for the stadium, is overseeing the renovation.

By the time the Eagles play their home opener against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 15, the historical imagery will be on display throughout the stadium. The lower concourse will feature images of Eagles lore, with players classified by position; the upper concourse will feature memorable moments. Thirty-four murals will be placed in the concourses, with 310 large-scale images in the suite and club level and 10 large murals on the club level.

Entrance gates will be expanded to alleviate the pregame bottleneck, and concession stands, the Touchdown Club, and suites also will get upgrades. The team's store will be expanded and reconfigured. The new WiFi system, which will be available for 2013, will include 607 access points and accommodate 45,000 users. All areas of the stadium will have coverage.

"A lot of people upload photos, stream videos, check fantasy football stats, and scores," Smolenski said.

The bigger changes will come in 2014. The most obvious will be the two video boards in both end zones with an upgraded sound system, as well as LED end-zone, marquee, and ribbon boards.

The north end-zone video board will stretch 27 feet by 192 feet; the south end zone board will be 27 feet by 160 feet.

"When we built Lincoln Financial Field, high definitions were not really the state-of-the-art video boards," Lurie said.

The stadium will add 1,600 seats, with 800 in the southwest corner, 600 in the northeast corner, and 200 in the northwest corner. The capacity of the stadium will stay under 70,000, which the team wanted, to preserve intimacy.

"That was a big priority, because since there's some much larger stadiums built, especially in [football] stadiums, and we didn't want to go there and retrofit in a way in which we just got to a bigger number," Lurie said. "We love that intimacy. We think it's better short-term, long-term. I think the fans prefer it, as well."

Two new bridges in the southwest corner will allow fans in the upper concourse to go from one side of the stadium to the other. Smolenski said that was a major demand. The west of the stadium will get a new escalator, so one escalator will exclusively serve the upper concourse. The club level will also get enhancements for 2014.

"All that work will start as soon as the season's over," Smolenski said.

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