Ford Field’s $100-Mil Restoration Underway

Detroit Lions’ officials to have Ford Field renovations done by August

  • by Noelle Leavitt Riley
  • Published: March 15, 2017

New video boards, top-of-the-line sound systems and major renovations to stadium suites and clubs will greet Detroit Lions’ fans this season.

Detroit Lions’ officials are ambitiously trying to finish a $100-million upgrade at Ford Field — funded by the Ford family — before the first preseason game in the second week of August.

No concerts will be held at the stadium this summer during renovations.

Roughly 210,000 square feet of space will be renovated or entirely reconfigured in an effort to upgrade the 65,000-seat stadium that was built in 2002. In total, the stadium is 1.85-million-sq.-ft., with four levels of suites.

“The majority of the restoration is updating the scoreboards and other amenities throughout the entire stadium,” said Kirk Phillips, lead designer from architect firm Rossetti. “It’s going to make a better overall experience for everybody.”

Rossetti helped design the stadium when it was originally built.

The massive LED boards add extra excitement to the project, Phillips said. “It’s amazing the amount of changes that are going to occur."

Daktronics is the company in charge of creating and installing the 21-display system that includes nearly 26,000 square feet of displays and more than 28.1-million LED lights.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” said Daryl Mihal, regional manager for Brookings, S.D.-based Daktronics.

Each end zone will have new video displays that are twice the size of what’s currently there that will measure 39.5-ft. high and 152-ft. wide with a 13HD pixel layout. Additionally, four other displays that are 13-feet high and 59-feet wide will be used with the main displays for live video, instant replay, statistics and more.

Ford Field also has two columns that will be wrapped in LED lights that measure 36.5-ft. high and 62.5-ft. wide.

“It will be really unique and exciting and something different than we’ve done in any other stadium,” Mihal said.

Renovations of the suites, club areas and bars also are in the works, including redesign of The Corner Lounge, that will be renamed the Corner Bar. The bar will have old and new franchise memorabilia from the team’s past and present accomplishments. 

Other club renovations include:
• The Lounge: A new 6,800-sq.-ft. club that hovers five levels above the field on the north side of the stadium, an area that previously had suites, that will seat 200 people.
• Terrace Club and suites: A total of 5,500 sq.-ft. and 140 seats that will be a “communal gathering,” with 12 theater-type suites with all-inclusive food and beverage options.
• Gridiron Club: A two-level club, on levels two and three of the stadium. The level-two space will house 5,400 sq.-ft. of space with 106 seats and the third level will cater to 467 seats with a total of 16,800 sq.-ft. The Gridiron Club capitalizes on Detroit’s growing culinary recognition and the social scene that parallels it. Food takes center stage in this club with the addition of several new Detroit-centric concessions.

Levy Restaurants is the caterer for Ford Field and will work with local food vendors to create menus for suites and clubs, Phillips said.

“We want to utilize the great food choices we have here in Detroit,” he said. “You’ll have great local fare coming from both sides of the stadium.”

Premium suite renovations include the Red Zone Suites that will be renovated with stone, luxury fabrics and interactive tables where customers can order food.

There also will be a South Club and Loge Boxes where several current suites will be transformed into a club with tons of open space so fans can move around. Loge boxes are a new concept that will include large seats and in-seat food and beverage service.

With the renovations and the new LED lighting, fans are sure to feel the difference.

“It will be immediately evident for anyone who steps into the stadium that changes were made,” Mihal said.


  • by Noelle Leavitt Riley
  • Published: March 15, 2017