The Philadelphia Eagles are a polarizing NFL franchise, but regardless of feelings toward the team, a visit to Lincoln Financial Field should rank high for football fans. The team was born in 1933 and before the Super Bowl era, Philadelphia won three league titles. Perhaps the most famous was the 1960 championship led by all-time great Chuck Bednarik, who helped the Birds defeat the Green Bay Packers, the only playoff defeat handed to Vince Lombardi. Philadelphia reached a pair of Super Bowls in 1980 and again in 2004, however they were defeated in each as their championship-starved fans await an end of season crown. That last appearance in 2004 represented the culmination of the Andy Reid/Donovan McNabb era, a highly successful run with several playoff appearances.
The Eagles spent time at different home fields throughout their early history in Philadelphia until settling into the monstrosity known as Veterans Stadium in South Philadelphia for nearly 30 years. That concrete, awful doughnut has thankfully since been demolished and in 2003, the Eagles moved across the parking lot into Lincoln Financial Field. This stadium is a great place for football and a terrific representation of the city and team. For visiting fans looking to step into enemy territory, yes, you might get haggled, but the narrative of the “mean fans” in Philly is overplayed and this place is not much worse than what is seen in many other NFL stadiums.
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For the best food options at The Linc, start in the north end zone plaza, where most fans enter into the stadium. This festive introduction features an area with several unique food carts including Brent Celek's "Prime Stache," which serves up a mean cheesesteak ($15). Bassett's provides several BBQ options, while one spot over is a tent for McNally's Tavern and their famous "Schmitter" sandwich ($12). To be able to devour this beast, one must hold out from eating at a tailgate. The Schmitter features steak, onions, tomatoes, cheese, grilled salami and a special sauce on a Kaiser roll. This area with the best food is a hike from some seating sections, so it may be best to grab something on your way in.
Inside the actual stadium, there are plenty of concession stands and they are expensive, like their counterparts outside. The choices throughout each concourse level include the requisite items, but they are less varied and disappointingly only a couple items are offered per stand. This is Philadelphia and thankfully several spots sell cheesesteaks. The best choice is getting one from the Tony Luke's stand ($11) near Section 114. Another sandwich worth trying is the Quick & Carmichael, named after two former wide receivers. The $12 item features either pulled chicken or pulled pork and for $17, the combination of both. There are also some good looking soft pretzels available, which is a Philadelphia favorite, however the one I tried was cold. Of course, Chickie's & Pete's sell their famous crab fries ($11) and chicken cutlets ($9).
Miller Lite and Budweiser are the prominent beers sold around the stadium and these are generally $8-$9, depending on the type. Other beers are available, but the local selection is limited. Coca-Cola provides the soda products and a regular is $5. For those that are not looking to drink alcohol, be sure to sign up for the Designated Driver program in the north plaza at ground level for a ticket to receive a free beverage.
Set amongst a backdrop of seemingly endless rows of tailgates, Lincoln Financial Field's exterior of exposed steel, beams, brick and glass is well designed to represent the character of Philadelphia. Walking towards the stadium from the north, the open corners and upper deck shape almost give the perception of an Eagle flying. Inside, the stadium is so well designed with angled seating sections enhancing the sightlines. The lower deck is at a shallow grade, while the upper deck has more of a steeper pitch and all of the individual Midnight Green seats have backs and cupholders. Though the upper deck is high because of the below club section sandwiched between a layer of suites, the view is not bad at all. Various nooks and crannies give the stadium a non-uniform, unique appearance, while the open corners in the north end help to provide peaks of Center City (Philly's downtown).
The outer gates open 2.5 hours before kickoff for access to the plaza behind the north end zone. This is a nice area to spend a little time as there is entertainment and live music to go along with the food trucks. The gates to the actual seating bowl open 1.5 hours before the game and once seated, the experience is enhanced by a pair of high-quality video boards at each end zone. The only downfall is the usage of big ads on the sides, which cut down on the picture. For fantasy football junkies, there is a separate board that rolls through player stats and the WiFi in the stadium has recently been enhanced to handle the volume. Those looking to factor in weather, the highest several rows in the sideline 200s are underneath an overhang. The sun will shine brightest on Sections 115-125 and 219-231.
Game atmosphere is tremendous as The Linc is a very loud stadium that can provide a distinct home field advantage (so long as the fans don't turn on their team). A Rocky themed introduction video is goosebump-inducing and the roar from the opening kick continues into the first possession. After an Eagles touchdown, "Fly Eagles Fly" is sung by pretty much everybody and topped off with a deafening "E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!" at the end. During halftime, there's a chance the Eagles Drumline performs and it is definitely worth sticking around for.
Lincoln Financial Field is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, a huge space that contains the city's arena, ballpark and stadium. While this makes for simple access and the easy ability to take in a multi-sport doubleheader, it also means there is a lack of neighborhood thanks to the surrounding sea of parking. Only in the last few years have fans had a nearby pre/post game option. Built on the site of the old Spectrum, Xfinity Live! is a manufactured entertainment center with multiple themed sports bars. It may be overpriced, occasionally crowded and not necessarily authentic, but it is a decent place to go for a bite and a drink to watch other games either before or after the Eagles. Victory Beer Hall and the NBC Sports Arena are just two of the large establishments to check out. Another option a little further away is Chickie's & Pete's, located on Packer Ave. They do offer a shuttle to the game in their "Taxi Crab."
About five miles north up Broad Street is the center of Philadelphia, where there is plenty to check out. Independence National Park includes the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center and Independence Hall. Other great museums surround the Park, while in the heart of the city, it is worth seeing City Hall and JFK Plaza, where the famous "LOVE" sign is located. For a cheesesteak, Steve's Prince of Steaks on 16th and Chestnut is a fine choice for an authentic Philly specialty. If you want to stay closer to South Philly, stay away from tourist traps Pat's and Geno's and instead visit Tony Luke's on Oregon Ave.
It has been said that you can tell if the Eagles won or lost by just walking down Broad Street Monday morning as the mood of the city rides on the team. Philadelphia has a supremely passionate fan base that are seen as some of the most loyal, ardent supporters in the league. The city also draws the ire of many when the words "Philadelphia Fans" are uttered. Clearly, they have a bad reputation and the stories have been repeated ad nauseam. While there is no arguing that there are plenty of obnoxious jerks at Eagles games who act like idiots, this is no different than what happens at many NFL games across the country. Additionally, these people at the games are in the significant minority. In terms of attending a game at The Linc wearing the jersey of the visiting team, you may get heckled, but as long as you are respectful, it is highly unlikely to run into any problems. I attended the game where the Eagles played the Saints and of the 30-40 people I saw wearing the Black & Gold, none of them were derided. Now, there is an exception as attending a division game rooting for the Cowboys, Giants or Redskins may not be the best idea.
Eagles fans fill their stadium every Sunday and consistently rank in the Top 8 for NFL attendance by % of capacity. All the more impressive is the lack of empty seats at a game, in a day and age where it is easy to spot stadiums with open areas during a session of NFL RedZone. The crowd in Philadelphia turns The Linc into a very loud place and though they are quick to boo and get mad at their team, it is all because they care so much. That's way better than sitting in a stadium where everyone is half-watching and playing on their phone.
Getting to the Sports Complex is quite easy as both I-95 and I-76 lead into the area. Parking is plentiful and the football operation tries to streamline traffic after the game. The Lincoln Financial Field website does a nice job to break down where each lot exits to. This does help traffic flow, but backups are inevitable and it certainly takes a while to leave after the game is over. For those not tailgating, there is a way to avoid the congestion headaches and it is much more cost-effective then having to drop $40 on parking. SEPTA is the mass transit system in Southeast PA and visitors can take the Broad Street Line from Center City right to the AT&T Station (yes, it's a sad world where subway stations are being sponsored), which is a 5-10 minute walk from the stadium. I will say the system is not as good as the Metro in DC or the subway system in NYC, so first-time visitors should probably do some research before going this route. Also, be prepared to cram into a train after the game as it gets very crowded.
Concourse accessibility is very good at The Linc and as long as it is not halftime, there should be no trouble moving around the place. Bathrooms will have their usual lines at the intermission, but they typically move efficiently. There is one spot in the stadium where fans can not connect easily to a different seating area; between sections 237 and 239, one must walk all the way around or down to the first level. Access between lower and upper decks is typically made by traversing winding ramps, however there are a few escalators that can speed up this process.
Attending a Philadelphia Eagles game is a very costly venture and while the entire NFL is expensive for the fan, it is even more so here. The $40 parking charge is hard to fathom and tickets range from $75 to $130. However, seats are snagged so fast, that it is likely fans need to use the secondary market and tickets there start at $100. There are ways to save money though and using mass transit alone can save over $30. There are also standing room tickets which cost just $55. Despite the high prices, an Eagles game is quite an experience and this is a must visit for football fans.
It is hard not to notice the funky spinning blades on top of the stadium ends. These scary-looking things are actually wind turbines and they are a part of what makes Philadelphia a leader in the Green Energy initiative. Solar panels have recently been installed on the outside of the stadium as well and the efforts the team has gone through to achieve renewable energy should be commended.
In the plaza area near the north end zone, there is a building that leads to escalator access for suite holders. The entrance area is open to all fans and this section is a great spot that pays homage to team history. Spend some time here before the game to check out the team's hall of fame, timeline and multiple murals. Also, be sure to check out the banners hanging from the rafters of the stadium.
A $125 million renovation project paid by the team and league not only upgraded the stadium, but added some nice personal touches. Among the additions: historical murals, an expanded team store, upgraded WiFi and a connecting bridge in the northeast corner of the stadium.
Finally, one more point for "Fly Eagles Fly." It is very catchy!
Lincoln Financial Field is a stadium that is not only designed very well, but also one that represents Philadelphia perfectly. Many little features and touches make it known that this is the home of the Eagles. Other intangibles add to a great football experience, but it is really the fans that make attending an Eagles game stand out from other places. They will never shed their reputation, but their deep passion and ability to create a boisterous atmosphere make attending a game at The Linc a must for any football fan.
Follow all of Sean's journeys at Stadium and Arena Visits.
Lincoln Financial Field is smashed in between several NFL venues built along the East Coast within the past 15 years. But, Lincoln Financial Field puts together the best game day experience for all fan types - both those who want to tailgate, those who want to hit a bar or restaurant before the game or those who want to enter the stadium early.
Consider this of the four competing East Coast NFL stadiums - MetLife Stadium (built in 2010), Gillette Stadium (built in 2002) and FedEx Field (built in 1997) are built far away from their respective cities. The only option is to tailgate and that is if you are able to buy your way into a parking lot. Plus, food and drinks are expensive once inside. On the contrary, M&T Bank Stadium (built in 1998) is located in downtown Baltimore. Thus, the only pre-game option is to eat at a restaurant before the game unless you know someone who has a parking permit or buy one on the secondary market.
However, Lincoln Financial Field gives you the best of both worlds and could be the best NFL venue in the Northeast. There are a handful of bars and restaurants to choose from within the immediate vicinity and, if you want, you can plan a tailgate late Saturday night and actually pay for parking on the day of the game. Plus, food and drinks are relatively cheap once you enter the stadium.
Lincoln Financial Field is the home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. Built across the street from the former spot of the not-at-all-missed Veterans Stadium, it is part of the massive Philadelphia Sports Complex, which includes Citizens Bank Park, home of the 2008 World Champion Phillies, and Wells Fargo Center, home of the NHL's Flyers, Arena Football's Soul, and the NBA's 76ers.
The second of the three to be built, The Linc is a vast improvement over the Vet.
I love this stadium. Too bad I won't be going back. The fans are terrible and, frankly, violent. I've been to many baseball games in Philly and even went to a basketball game here. This is a very different town when it comes to football. I live near Philly and have many friends who are diehard Eagles fans. Most of them agree with me about the fans. The prices are typical for the NFL...outrageous. You are much better off going into the city for food or simply stay in a lot that allows tailgating and bring your own food. Philly has a beautiful stadium but it would be nice if it wasn't so far from the city. I think the whole community loses because of the distance.
“Fly Eagles Fly, On the Road to Victory (Fight Fight Fight!).”
There are two ways to view one of the most well-known franchises in the National Football League, the Philadelphia Eagles, established in 1933. The pessimist sees that the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl and haven’t won an NFL Championship since the same year John F. Kennedy was elected President (1960). They note the notoriety of Eagles fans and how they booed and hurled snowballs at Santa Claus in 1968. They also may bring up that the Eagles trail in the all-time series against their two biggest rivals, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.
“Fight Eagles Fight, Score a Touchdown 1-2-3. (1-2-3!)”
But the Philadelphia Eagles are more than simple numbers or the harassment of Father Christmas. Philadelphia is where greats like Reggie White, Chuck Bednarik and Brian Dawkins played and had their numbers retired. The Eagles’ fan base also consistently ranks among the best in the league, placing first in a 2008 Forbes survey and third in both a 1999 and 2006 American City Business Journal survey. Moreover, the 1968 Eagles team was 2-11 going into the infamous Santa Claus game. Fans had to clear three inches of slush and snow before taking their seat, temperatures were in the low 20s and wind gusts were upwards of 30 miles per hour. The fact that there were over 54,000 people at the game to boo and harass Ol’ Saint Nick despite these miserable conditions is just one example of why Eagles fans are considered some of the most loyal and passionate in the entire league.
“Hit ‘Em Low, Hit ‘Em High. And Watch Our Eagles Fly.”
The Eagles’ "nest", so to speak, is Lincoln Financial Field, commonly known as "The Linc." The Eagles moved to this venue in 2003 after over 30 years at Veterans Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium that that was also the home of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. In February 1999, Pennsylvania approved stadium funding for the Eagles to move and a stadium deal was reached in December 2000. Construction for the new Lincoln Financial Field began in 2001 and on August 3, 2003, the first event played on Lincoln Financial Field was a soccer friendly between Barcelona and Manchester United. On August 22 the Eagles played their first preseason game at their new venue against the New England Patriots and then on Monday Night Football in Week 1, the Eagles played their first regular-season game at The Linc against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Today, Lincoln Financial Field plays host to Eagles football and Temple University football, while the annual Army-Navy football game is also played there. The stadium is within walking distance of both Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies (MLB) and the Wells Fargo Center, home of the 76ers (NBA), Flyers (NHL), Wings (NLL) and Soul (AFL).
“Fly Eagles Fly, On The Road To Victory.”
Lincoln Financial Field is a wonderful sports venue for everyone from diehard Eagles fans to casual onlookers. There is truly a home-field advantage to be had here, and even with some minor hiccups along the way, the full Lincoln Financial Field experience for any visitor is as memorable as the team's one of a kind fight song.
Granted, my visit to the "Link" occurred during preseason, but I was very impressed with the facility. Due to traffic, we arrived in Philly only about a half hour before kickoff, but were able to get off the highway, park, get a drink, and get to our seats before kickoff. There is the advantage of having one large sports complex right off the highway. The disadvantage is that there are few (if any) good options for before or after the game. The stadium had wide, spacious concourses and varied concessions. I recommend the crab fries. The fans were nowhere near as rude as their reputation, but I guess that this ranking would drop a little during the regular season. All in all, it was a pleasant visit. Bonus points for the working windmills and open design, as well as the delightfully dated fight song.
Painful exiting from the parking lot here onto 95S. Best to park on the street away from the lots if you can. Fans cheered Andy and Donovan but left early. Many drunks and one big fight. Atmosphere hampered by the Eagles falling behind early. Still, a beautiful stadium and wind turbines on the top of each end are a nice addition.
Until 2003, the Philadelphia Eagles never had a stadium to call their own. The Eagles did play basically alone for five years in the 1930’s and 1940’s at the stadium which would later be named John F. Kennedy Stadium, but most of the time they used the venues of the Phillies, the old Philadelphia Athletics and even the University of Pennsylvania Quakers.
The Baker Bowl and Connie Mack Stadium were subpar stadiums, especially by the time the Eagles got to play at each. The 1971 opening of Veterans Stadium, shared with the Phillies, gave the team their first modern stadium, but one loved by almost no one. It also showed little life, except for the rat and mouse population who lived in its lower sections. It also deteriorated fast and needed to be replaced desperately, and that is why Lincoln Financial Field was built in 2003
The stadium is architecturally not like most new stadiums. It does not use soft brick colors and other “warm” tones in its design. Instead, it uses sleek steel, glass facades and darker surfaces to make a unique statement. It's both harsh to the eye and welcoming, all at the same time. The stadium also hulks over nearby Interstate I-95.
The team added 14 micro-turbines to the stadium in recent years. They add a unique look to the stadium, as well as providing sustainable energy for the complex. The spinning blades look like something out of Game of Thrones. That only goes to adding to the intimidating look and feel of the stadium.
Since it was a pre season game the fans were not as hyped up as I assume they usually are. Despite this, they still showed love for their team and sang along when "Fly Eagles Fly" was played after each score. One thing I as an opposing fan was thankful for was the lack of booing, only when the opposing team took the field. The stadium is nice with a little walking area near the main gate, however the steps leading up to the main concourse was a little confusing as first but the main concourses are wide and food choices are great. The seating bowl offered great views The neighborhood was limited with Xinty Live being the only thing close and asking a $10 cover charge. The only bad thing was the parking, over $30 and paid online.
1526 Packer Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19145
1 Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, PA 19148
1100 Pattison Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
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2628 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19146