Over the offseason, several teams around the NFL made renovations to their stadiums. While some amounted to large-scale projects, others were made up of smaller but unique additions that should add to the fan experience. To recap some of the highlights from the most recent improvement projects, we present an NFL stadium renovation roundup.
Without a doubt, the two largest NFL stadium renovation projects that took place during the offseason were at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium and Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium. Both facilities opened in 1998 and received a series of upgrades that should modernize the fan experience in several areas.
For the Buccaneers, that meant an extensive overhaul of Raymond James Stadium’s East Stadium Club and Atrium. That focus on a premium area builds off of other upgrades completed at Raymond James Stadium in recent years, as the facility has been undergoing a $160 million renovation over multiple phases.
The Ravens, meanwhile, added new video displays in each of M&T Bank Stadium’s four corners that will sit atop new “corner notch” suites. Additionally, the Ravens are improving the stadium’s Wi-Fi—an upgrade that will help the club in its transition to digital ticketing—and will debut the first of several new escalators in October. Those improvements are part of a $120-million investment that the Ravens are making into M&T Bank Stadium over multiple phases.
Not all of the renovations that have occurred in recent months are on the same scale as M&T Bank Stadium and Raymond James Stadium. However, there have still been plenty of other notable projects taking place, resulting in a mix of premium area upgrades and unique stadium additions.
The Buffalo Bills have been upgrading premium areas at New Era Field, highlighted by renovations to the stadium’s sideline clubs. Corporate sponsorships have led to new names for the premium areas—Dunn Tire Club, Pepsi Club, and Toyota Club—and all three will feature improved food and beverage options. These are the first updates to the spaces since they were added to the stadium in 1999. In addition, work has been taking place in the M&T Bank and Goal Line clubs at New Era Field.
As part of their ongoing effort to upgrade University of Phoenix Stadium, the Arizona Cardinals have unveiled several improvements. The Cardinals are placing a particular emphasis on the club level, with this year’s introductions including a new speakeasy lounge, a specialty lounge, and various technology, lighting, and fixture improvements.
Over the offseason, the San Francisco 49ers converted a former green room for concert tours at Levi’s Stadium. The premium space—dubbed the IdentoGO by IDEMIA Green Room—is located under the south end zone grandstand, and offers recliners, in-seat service, and a closeup view of the action.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, will offer the NFL’s first in-stadium dog park. As part of a partnership with Pet Paradise, the Jaguars are introducing Pet Paradise Park at TIAA Bank Field. In recent years, the Jaguars have added some distinct fan experience elements to TIAA Bank Field—including a pool—so this would seem to fit in with the club’s previous additions.
The Pittsburgh Steelers made a unique addition to Heinz Field, which will now feature Franco’s Pizzeria. A new dining option in Bud Light Pub 33, Franco’s Pizzeria is named in honor of Pro Football Hall of Famer Franco Harris. Weather permitting, it will offer outdoor dining space that is open on non-gamedays, meaning that it should see plenty of use outside of football season.
There are a few other projects to note. While primarily intended for USC football, early results of an ongoing renovation to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will be on display during Los Angeles Rams’ home games this season. Additionally, the Houston Texans have done some work at NRG Stadium, including a refresh of the facility’s suites, new food options, and other features. Mercedes-Benz Stadium—which opened for the Atlanta Falcons last year—is set to see a major addition outside with the Home Depot Backyard. Located on a portion of the former Georgia Dome site, the 11-acre area will provide parking and tailgating on gamedays while being used for a variety of purposes on non-gamedays.
There are no new NFL stadiums opening this year, but with this slate of projects, the league can look forward to some unique additions to its existing facilities.
Top image courtesy Arizona Cardinals.
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