Phase 1 of the revitalization of Lincoln Financial Field is in place, just in time for the amped-up Eagles fans on Sunday. The revitalization of the 11-year-old stadium is to be completed for 2014, but the improvements in place now will be celebrated.
Fans can enjoy it from the moment they enter Lincoln Financial Field as they enter through the expanded gate areas (which equal shorter lines), and then as they walk around the concourses and the Headhouse Plaza and see the new graphics that pay tribute to some of the greatest players in team history. Fans will also see that the inside of the stadium bowl has been enhanced with banners in place honoring the retired numbers in franchise history as well as the best teams the Eagles have fielded.
The stadium's Pro Shop has been expanded to improve the traffic flow on game days, and more registers have been added to allow fans a speedier shopping experience.
The technology side of things has been dramatically improved, as a new Wi-Fi network allows 40,000 simultaneous users to surf the web. And for those fans who have downloaded the official Eagles app -- and you absolutely are missing out if you haven't -- enhanced features are available, including detailed statistics, advanced camera angles in the stadium and access to the Comcast Red Zone to provide a look around at other games in the NFL.
Also, new graphics of former Eagles greats have been added to the Suite areas, and Touchdown Club members can enjoy the sparkling comfort of the new club area for pre-game and in-game hospitality.
This is just Phase 1, and more plans are in place for 2014 as Lincoln Financial Field's revitalization project continues.
"We're excited about it because this is what the fans indicated they wanted and we're providing it," said Smolenski. "It's been a fun project. The new graphics jump out at you and give the stadium more of a historical feel. It's going to be an exciting day on Sunday for Eagles fans in every regard."
News, Notes And A Little Bit Of This And That
- Bradley Fletcher is out for Sunday's game against San Diego, so Brandon Boykin is likely to get a start outside if San Diego opens with two wide receivers. When the Chargers go with three wide receivers, Boykin is likely to move inside and Brandon Hughes and Jordan Poyer will likely see some time on the outside with Cary Williams on the other side. Don't sleep on San Diego's vertical passing game. Phillip Rivers can throw it and make big plays.
- Trent Cole has seen plenty of King Dunlap through the years, and he will have a full game going against his former teammate on Sunday. Dunlap signed with San Diego in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent and is the team's starting left tackle. Dunlap played well for three quarters on Monday against Houston before having some troubles in the fourth quarter.
- Chuck Bednarik is the Honorary Alumni Captain for Sunday's game. Give him the loud, standing ovation he deserves at halftime.
- It's been a fascinating week of reading the national reaction to this offense and the way Chip Kelly does things. Have the Eagles ever been on the cutting edge -- actually, leading the way -- at the start of a season? The 2004 season was certainly one that garnered a lot of attention with wide receiver Terrell Owens here, but I've never seen anything like this. The analysis has been overwhelming as the experts discuss the merits of the offense and the Eagles' ability to sustain the pace.
- The theme of the week inside the locker room, meanwhile, has been that the players know they left a lot of points on the field on Monday night. The Eagles were far from perfect. I would be shocked to see the Eagles come out flat in any way. My sense is that the players are eager as can be to get back on the field and play another game.
- The special teams were terrific on Monday night and those groups are worth watching. Players like Colt Anderson, Chris Polk, James Casey, Najee Goode and Boykin were fantastic getting down the field and making plays in coverage. Eddie Royal is a fine return man for the Chargers and he has to be accounted for.
- Will Vinny Curry be active on Sunday? The second-year man has some pass-rush punch that maybe Bill Davis wants to use with Rivers on the other side of the line of scrimmage. We shall see. Curry is learning a lot about patience early in his NFL career.