By Joseph Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles will be playing for the 11th year at Lincoln Financial Field, which is a relative baby in comparison to many of the other stadiums in the National Football League.

After the $131-million renovation the Eagles and the NFL applied, adding 1,626 new seats, state-of-the-art high-def video boards and a host of new food selections, fans will feel as if they’re stepping a brand new place when the Eagles open the season against Jacksonville on September 7.

Photos: The New And Improved Lincoln Financial Field

“We’ve invested in the building every year since it opened, because it’s our home and Philadelphia’s home, the fan’s home,” said Eagles’ President Don Smolenski, who guided a media tour of the ‘New Linc’ prior to players reporting to training camp on Friday. “We’re always looking for the fan’s experience to be better.”

Smolenski did not rule out the future possibility that the upgrades could lead to the Eagles making a Super Bowl for the Linc, which now holds 69,176 after the new seats were added.

Hosting a Super Bowl “really wasn’t a driver at all,” Smolenski said. “This has all been about our fans and the fans of Philadelphia. We thought the building was a great place for a Super Bowl bid before, but certainly bringing it up to date with state-of-the-art, certainly with the technology, certainly makes us right up there with any other venue or market to host a Super Bowl. It’s not official yet—it’s an ongoing process.”

The Eagles have plunged a great deal of resources into technology. Eagles’ fans will have now 22 camera angles to check out the action, as opposed to six in the past. It aids the fans, and, Smolenski pointed out, the Eagles’ coaching staff, increasing the inventory in which the Eagles can pull data.

Above everything, however, the fans were the first and foremost reason for the renovation.

“I think the fan experience becomes more immersive,” Smolenski said. “The video board and ribbon boards are more engaging, because of the level of detail that goes into it. It provides more information we can give and share with the fans, to make them feel more immersed in the game. Technology is changing so fast, and it’s hard to believe it’s our 11th playing season and the stadium still looks brand new, I think it’s because of the pride and care that we’ve put into the building. We care about it—it’s for the fans of Philadelphia, to give them an even better time and that’s what we want to provide for them.”


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