Things we missed during PoopGate

Just when things in the stadium and arena world seemed to be quieting down for the summer, we had a bit of a crazy week, thanks to all those sewage leaks and threats to move teams to various places. As a result, a few things fell through the cracks this week, so let’s catch up with a quick roundup post:

Eagles owner says he’ll pay for $125m in stadium upgrades himself

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie announced details of a planned $125 million upgrade of Lincoln Financial Field yesterday, with most of the money allocated for tech enhancements (including a stadium-wide WiFi network, as NFL teams continue to try to push for fans to bring tablets to games to recreate the sitting-at-home-in-front-of-the-TV experience) and, based on the renderings, longer video boards. Lurie also says he plans to pay for the upgrades, which will be completed over the next two offseasons, with his own money.

That’s welcome news, but also a bit confusing, given that it’s been previously reported that the Eagles would get NFL G-4 money for the project, and one of the requirements of G-4 (unlike the G-3 plan it replaced) is that it only go to “public-private partnerships.” So either there’s some public contribution to the Eagles project yet to be announced (though it’s hard to see how they’d work that out if construction is set to start pretty much now), or the NFL was lying to cities like Miami when it told them it would only approve G-4 funds if the city kicked in something, or … maybe because the public already put money into the Eagles stadium, that counts? I’ll check with the NFL and see if I can get an answer, but until then file this one under “unanswered mysteries of league bylaws.”

Eagles announce stadium upgrades, don’t announce public subsidy request, but will

The NFL approved league G-4 stadium funding yesterday for the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Philadelphia Eagles, as part of the expected shares of new or renovated stadiums that — whoa, wait, the Eagles? What are the Eagles doing on that list?

“We are excited to have received league support today for our stadium revitalization project at Lincoln Financial Field,” said Eagles President Don Smolenski. “We will share the details of this project with our fans in the coming weeks.”

And not just with fans, one hopes, but with Philadelphia legislators as well, since one of the conditions of the G-4 program language is that any funded projects must be “public-private partnerships.” So the only way this is going to work is if the Eagles seek some public money for upgrades to 10-year-old Lincoln Financial Field. If those cost $60 million to $100 million as previously projected, then we’re talking about $30 million to $50 million in public money. It’s the sort of thing you’d hope that any of the numerous articles about the renovation plan would have mentioned, but I guess it’s a lot to expect today’s newspaper journalists to think outside the press release.