FORD FIELD


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Ford Field -

 

Address: 2000 Brush Street
             Detroit, Michigan 48226

Home of: Detroit Lions (NFL)

Date opened: August 24, 2002

Capacity: Football: 65,000
              Basketball: 78,000
              Wrestling: 80,103

Cost: $430 million

 

Ford Field, located at 2000 Brush Street, Detroit, MI 48226, was built in 2002 for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League. The team played in the Silverdome for more than 20 years before asking for a new stadium from the city. The Detroit Tigers, members of Major League Baseball, also began asking for a new park in the mid 1990s, and the city decided to spend money to build the Tigers’ ballpark first. In 1999, Comerica Park was completed, and on November 16, 1999, construction began on the new football stadium. The stadium cost $430 million to complete and the team paid 49% of the financing while the city paid taxes to cover the remaining 51%. The stadium opened on September 22, 2002, and the naming rights were bought by the Ford Company out of Detroit for $40 million over 20 years. Ford Field can hold 65,000 people and offers 120 luxury suites and 7,000 club level seats to the fans of the Lions.

The old Silverdome was one of the biggest stadiums in the country and could hold almost 80,000 people, something the designers of the new Ford Field actually tried to shy away from. With a lower number like 65,000 people, there won’t be as many fans at the game, but there won’t be as many unpurchased tickets as before either. The 2002 Detroit Lions attendance was more than 100,000 people lower than the previous year but in new Ford Field, the attendance for the season was 94% of the entire capacity for the year, a number that most teams would kill to have at their home games. Ford Field is equipped with a permanent dome instead of a retractable one because of the cold winters in Detroit. The field sits 45 feet below street level and uses a Fieldturf playing surface. Ford Field also has a club lounge, banquet rooms, conference and convention areas, and a Lions team store.

Ford Field hosted Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006 as the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21–10 to win their 5th Super Bowl championship in front of 68,206 in attendance. It also marked the final game in the 13-year career of Detroit native and 10-year Steelers running back, Jerome Bettis.

 

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