I’ve driven by numerous times, seen the stadium from the parking lot on occasion and have been to seven other Philadelphia sporting events. This was finally the time to experience Lincoln Financial Field and Eagles football. On a picture-perfect October Sunday that began chilly and became comfortable, my brother from Rochester joined me for the trip. While planning the game, after I rubbed my eyes to see that the $40 parking charge was indeed correct, we opted for a different route that would save money and traffic headaches. We used PATCO, South Jersey’s train connection into Philly. The Woodcrest station is right off of I-295 and the train ride to Center City takes only 20 minutes. You can also buy a transfer ticket in Woodcrest for SEPTA and after I got into an argument with the mean lady at the ticket office we boarded the Broad Street Line down to South Philly and the Sports Complex. Side note on the two SEPTA employees I encountered…they were jerks. As a first-timer on the system, I showed the lady at the ticket counter near the turnstile my PATCO ticket which said “SEPTA” transfer on it. She just shook her head and repeatedly stated they don’t accept that. Instead of just asking for the receipt paper that had the actual transfer, I had to continually inquire why the other station would sell me a transfer ticket if it doesn’t work. All she had to do was ask for the slip instead of just shaking her head. Arrrgh. On the way back after the game, I encountered a woman who couldn’t even justify talking to me and would resorted to just pointing when I asked for directions to the ticket counter. This makes me want to write a post about mass transit system’s, since I’ve been on a handful now. For a later time.
Anyway…Lincoln Financial Field sits in a sea of parking lot, along with the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park nearby. There is at least the newly built Xfinity Live, which despite the crappy sponsor name, does have a handful of decent pre/post game establishments for fans. The tailgates were in full gear upon our arrival with a mixture of smells throughout our walk as footballs were flying and fans were having a good time, despite the nervousness of what lies ahead for the 1-3 Eagles. We walked around the stadium as I checked out all aspects and one thing quite apparent was the usage of solar panels and wind turbines. It’s a visible notice of the great things the Eagles have done to use renewable energy. The Linc’s varied exterior design culminates at the North End Zone, where the mostly glass enclosure acts as a gathering before the inner gates open. I enjoyed checking out the displays and team store inside, while the outside plaza had a nice mix of food trucks, music and entertainment. Inside the stadium, I thoroughly liked the design and it reminded me a bit of the great ballpark across the street as the use of angles to the seating bowl made for great sightlines. Various quirks gave the layout a non-uniform appearance, while the little touches like leaving an opening to see the city skyline and blending the Eagles logo into the upper seats all act to enhance the home.
We settled into our Section 107 seats and got goosebumps as a Rocky-themed montage brought the Eagles out. There was hardly an empty seat to be found for this game and anyone who watches NFL RedZone knows that there are only a few places in the league where true sellouts actually occur. The fans were jacked up and I was more than impressed by them, especially given the Eagles offensive ineptitude coming in. They were very loud, frequently rose to their feet and of course had the capability to boo. This was much louder than the Giants game I saw five years ago and (I hate to say it) the Linc created more noise than the Ralph. We had plenty of opportunities to hear “Fly Eagles Fly” in full throat as Philadelphia dominated the game and put up 28 points in the second half against a putrid Saints defense. Initially, it looked like this game would follow the earlier ones that Chip Kelly has drawn so much flak for. Sam Bradford threw a pair of red zone INTs and it was only 10-7 at the half. But 519 yards of offense was too much and the Eagles won 39-17.
After a great day at Lincoln Financial Field, we crammed into the subway like sardines and after anxiously waiting for departure, quickly made it to Center City (downtown). Each time I’m in Philly, I always become awestruck at the wonderful architecture at City Hall. I wanted to have my brother try his first Philly cheesesteak, so we went to Steve’s Prince of Steaks for dinner. So of course, he orders a chicken steak…Argh. I on the other hand, quite enjoyed mine. But, I do have to say the one I had at Larry’s after the Saint Joseph’s game was a little better. We then hopped back on PATCO and drove back home after an enjoyable day. I’ll have a full stadium review up later in the week and one for Stadium Journey will come out too. One other note…There are 9 stadiums on The List that are located in Philadelphia and this was visit #8. The last one is Temple’s McGonigle Hall (volleyball), which I may visit next month.