Lincoln Financial Field, 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way,
In a crowded and passionate sports town, no team draws more attention than the Eagles. The combination of being a perennial contender, playing in a new stadium, and the national obsession with football, has positioned the Eagles as the number one sports draw in Philadelphia and surrounding area—a standing that shows no sign of changing soon. The popularity of the club far outpaces the success of the franchise.
The Eagles are still looking for their first Super Bowl Championship (before the Super Bowl existed, they won the Championship in 1960), a quest that riles the fan base into a fever every autumn, and so far has left them heartbroken every January.
When Andy Reid became head coach in 1998, the team was following a depressing 3–13 season. What has taken place since is the franchise’s most consistently competitive streak in 50 years. A Super Bowl appearance in 2004 capped a streak of five consecutive trips to the playoffs and four straight NFC Championship Games, three of which were lost.
Despite competitive and exciting teams, frequent trips to the playoffs, and a roster stocked with high-profile names, the lack of a Super Bowl trophy looms large over the team and the city. Nothing short of a championship will satisfy the embattled Eagles fans, who with each passing year become more vociferous and cranky, turning Lincoln Financial Field into a notorious cauldron of noise, emotion, and the occasional drunken brawl.
The party inside the stadium is an extension of the tailgate scene that begins early on Sundays and continues until kickoff. And even beyond the stadium scene, football and Sunday go hand-in-hand in Philadelphia, as the Eagles’ faithful use the entire day to drink and yell away the previous week of work and responsibility.
Possessing a bad reputation that is not entirely unwarranted, Eagles’ fans don’t often waste a chance to yell at opposing teams and their fans, and sometimes even each other, in and outside of the stadium. Be warned: If you show up at a game wearing a jersey of the other team, you will catch heat and may be putting yourself at real risk.
Eagles tickets have become the most expensive and elusive in the city with a long and implacable waiting list. Individual tickets go on sale before the season’s start and get snapped up in a matter of minutes. The best bet for tickets is online at the team website (www.philadelphiaeagles.com), or on eBay or Craigslist (www.craigslist.org), either way you will pay hundreds of dollars to see a game. Scalpers sell tickets at the stadium; those tickets come with a high price and the risk of arrest for the illegal purchase.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition