Ford Field

Ford Field

stadium_name = Ford Field
nickname =

location = 2000 Brush Street
Detroit, Michigan 48226
broke_ground = November 16 1999
opened = August 24 2002
owner = Detroit/Wayne County Stadium Authority
operator = Detroit Lions
surface = FieldTurf
construction_cost = $430 million
architect = SHG, Inc.
Rossetti Architects
Hamilton Anderson Associates, Inc.
tenants = Detroit Lions (NFL) (2002-present) Team Michigan (AAFL) (2008-present)
seating_capacity = 65,000 (for football)
78,000 (for basketball)|

Ford Field is an indoor football stadium located in Detroit, Michigan that is the home of the Detroit Lions of the NFL. It is across the street from Comerica Park. It regularly seats 65,000, though it is expandable up to 70,000 for football and 80,000 for basketball. The naming rights were paid for by Ford at $40 million over 20 years; the Ford family (including Lions owner William Clay Ford, Sr.) holds a controlling interest in the company.


Ford Field(outdoor) was planned simultaneously with Comerica Park, which opened in April 2000, as part of a public project to replace Tiger Stadium and the Pontiac Silverdome. Ford Field was constructed after Comerica Park, opening in 2002. It cost an estimated $430 million to build, financed largely through public money and the sale of the naming rights.

The stadium's design incorporates a six-story former Hudson's warehouse, which had stood since the 1920s. Architecturally, the stadium shares a likeness with its sister stadium Ford Center, a multipurpose sports/concert arena located in downtown Oklahoma City.

The presence of the warehouse allows for a seating arrangement that was unique among professional American football stadiums at the time of Ford Field's opening. The majority of suites at Ford Field are located in the Hudson Warehouse along the stadium's southern sideline, as are the lounges that serve the premium club seats on that side of the field. The bulk of the grandstand seats are located along the northern sideline and both endlines, with gaps in the stadium's upper half at the southwest and southeast corners. The upper deck on the stadium's northern sideline also contains one level of suites and a smaller section of club seating. A similar design was implemented at the renovated Soldier Field, albeit with the use of a new structure (as opposed to an existing building) to house four levels of suites.

Unlike most indoor stadiums, Ford Field allows a large amount of natural light to reach the playing field, thanks to immense skylights and large glass windows at the open corners. The southwest corner provides the seating bowl and concourse with sunlight year-round and also offers fans a view of downtown Detroit. To prevent the stadium from becoming an overly imposing presence in the Detroit skyline, the playing field and lower bowl (100 level) were set below street level, similar to the design at adjacent Comerica Park.

Ford Field is one of the only venues in the NFL that has end zones in the east and the west, the others being Dolphin Stadium, the Georgia Dome and Cleveland Browns Stadium. (The RCA Dome also had end zones running in the west and east, but this problem has been corrected with the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium). The NFL has a rule against this type of construction, due to the sunlight which can be a major distraction to the players on the field. The NFL had to give permission for the east/west end-zone construction, because the Hudson's warehouse would have had to been altered otherwise. The natural light is not a distraction to the players in a day game, because the light only reaches as far as the sidelines, leaving the field still properly lit with the combination of artificial stadium lighting and sunlight.

Major events

On April 1, 2007, Ford Field hosted World Wrestling Entertainment's extravaganza WrestleMania 23. The event set a Ford Field attendance record of 80,103. It was the first WrestleMania held in the Detroit area since 93,173 fans set a world indoor attendance record at the Pontiac Silverdome for WrestleMania III in 1987.

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

The stadium is home to the Motor City Bowl featuring a top Mid-American Conference team and a Big Ten Conference team. It has also hosted the annual Mid-American Conference Championship Game since 2004. On December 13, 2003, Ford Field hosted the largest crowd ever to attend a basketball game, as 78,129 people packed the stadium for the Basketbowl, where the University of Kentucky defeated Michigan State University, 79–74. The MHSAA Football Finals also take place on Thanksgiving weekend, drawing over 60,000 fans.

The University of Detroit Mercy and Ford Field hosted the 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament regional semifinal and final games (March 28 and 30, 2008), will host the 2009 Final Four (April 4 and 6, 2009), hosted by University of Detroit Mercy, and the 2010 Frozen Four (April 8 and 10, 2010). For the 2008 NCAA Basketball tournament, the court was placed in the center of the football field rather than in an end of the stadium. This was the first time this configuration was used for NCAA Tournament play. []

Madonna's 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour will stop here on November 18.

Photo gallery

References and further reading

*Cite book|author=Fisher, Dale|title=Building Michigan: A Tribute to Michigan's Construction Industry|year=2003|publisher=Grass Lake, MI: Eyry of the Eagle Publishing|id=ISBN 1891143247

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Motor City Bowl]
* [ Video Review of Ford Field with on-site footage]

succession box
title = Home of
Detroit Lions
years = 2002 – present
before = Pontiac Silverdome
after = current
succession box
title = Host of
Motor City Bowl
years = 2002 – present
before = Pontiac Silverdome
after = current home
succession box
title = Host of
MAC Championship Game
years = 2004 – present
before = Doyt Perry Stadium
after = current
succession box
title = Host of
Super Bowl XL
years = 2006
before = ALLTEL Stadium
after = Dolphin Stadium
succession box
title = Host of
WrestleMania 23
years = 2007
before = Allstate Arena
after = Citrus Bowl
succession box
title = NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue
years = 2009
before = Alamodome
after = Lucas Oil Stadium
succession box
title = Host of
Frozen Four
years = 2010
before = Verizon Center
after = Xcel Energy Center

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