Ford Field Facts & History

General Information

Project: Ford Field, Home of the Detroit Lions, Inc.

Location: Detroit, Mich.

Address: 2000 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226

Main Phone: (313) 262-2000

Sports use: Professional Football, Other Sports

Cost: $500 Million

Entertainment use: Concerts, Conventions, Tradeshows, Other

First scheduled game: Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Preseason; August 24, 2002

Construction schedule: 32 months

Completion date: August 2002

Sources of funding: Public Funding

  • City of Detroit
  • Detroit Downtown Development Authority
  • Wayne County
  • Private Funding
  • The Detroit Lions, Inc.
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Comerica Bank
  • Corporate Founding Investors

Design And Construction Teams

Project manager: Hammes Company

Architect/Engineer of Record: SmithGroup (Detroit, Mich.)

Architects: Kaplan, McLaughlin, Diaz Architects (San Francisco, Calif.) Hamilton Anderson Associates, Inc. (Detroit, Mich.) Rossetti Associates Architects (Birmingham, Mich.)

Stadium Structural Engineers: Thorton-Tomasetti (New York, N.Y.)

Environmental Graphics: Ellerbe-Becket (Kansas City, Mo.)

Team Store Designers: ST2/Thrive (Portland, Ore.)

General Contractors-Stadium: Hunt/Jenkins

General Contractors-Warehouse: White/Olson, LLC

Site And Building Information

Entire worksite area: 25 acres (approximately)

Total square feet of building: 1,826,250 (includes lease space)

Type of foundation: Caissons

Type frame: Concrete and Steel

Type roof frame: Structural Steel

Deepest penetration into ground (caissons): 128 feet from main concourse level

Deepest penetration into ground (field level): 40’10” from main concourse level

Highest point above ground once completed: 128 feet from main concourse

Total cubic yards of concrete to be used: 58,560 cubic yards

Total material excavated for lower bowl and field level: 300,000 cubic yards

Seating Information

Overall Capacity: 65,000

Lower and upper bowl seats manufacturer: Hussey Seating Company

Size of upper and lower bowl seats: 19”


Number of suites: 132

Suites in warehouse (south side): 115

Suites on north side: 17

Variety of suites: 8

Capacity range of individual suites: 8-30

Suite seat manufacturer: Visteon Corporation

Size of suite seats: 21”

Club Level

Number of club seats: 8,600

Club seat manufacturer: Visteon Corporation

Size of club seats: 21”

Detroit Lions Stadium Pro Shop Hours

Monday – Friday from 10:00am to 6:00pm and Saturdays before home games

Stadium Access

Gate entrances: 7

Main entrance doors: 32; 3’2”x8’7”

Escalators: 8

Elevators: 16

Staircases: 23

Accessible ramps: 5

Rest Rooms

Public restrooms (not including private suite facilities): 105

Men: 43

Women: 49

Family: 13

Additional Stadium Information

First aid rooms: 6

ATMs: 9

Ticket Will Call Location: Gate A (corner of Brush St. and Adams St.)

Locker Rooms

Total locker rooms: 11

Field Level

Playing surface: FieldTurf

Area of field level: 97,000 sq. ft.

Score Boards/ Video Boards/ Audio

Video Board Manufacturer: Daktronics, Inc.

Number of video boards: 2; located in endzones

Endzone video boards size: 27 feet by 96 feet

Other scoreboards: 4, located club level

Type: Pro-Ad, LED facia boards

Size: 3’ by 150’

Approximate Span: From endzone to 30-yard line

Matrix Scoreboards: 2, in each endzone

Speaker Manufacturer: JBL

Total Number of Speakers: 1,050

Range of Wattage of Speakers: 8 – 1,000 watts

Total Wattage of Speakers: 500,000 watts


Concessionaire: Levy Restaurants

Concession stands: 56 permanent, 39 portable

Press Box Information

Press Level: Level 7

Number of seats: 262

Seats in main writers booth: 196

Working Booths on Press Level: 11

Location of Network TV Booth: Club Level

Size of Network TV Booth: 900 sq. ft.

Construction Timeline

August 20, 1996: Lions announce plans to build new domed stadium in downtown Detroit.

November 5, 1996: Voters in Wayne County overwhelmingly approve a referendum by the largest margin of victory in NFL stadium election history (68-32 percent) which will allow the Detroit Lions to build a domed stadium in downtown Detroit adjacent to a new baseball park for the Detroit Tigers.

November 16, 1999: Lions host groundbreaking ceremony “From the Ground Up” unveiling renderings and officially naming the new stadium, Ford Field.

February 2000: Workers begin installing 380 concrete caissons into the hard pan, which is a densely compacted layer of gravel located approximately 100 feet below the surface that rests on top of the bedrock, to provide stability to the structure of the bowl.

April 17, 2000: Demolition of a 250,000 square-foot portion of the old Hudson’s Warehouse begins. The razed area will be the site of the glass wall located on the southwest corner of Ford Field.

April 24, 2000: Lions award construction contracts. Partnership between Indianapolis, Ind.-based Hunt Construction Group and Detroit-owned Jenkins Construction is contracted to build the majority of Ford Field, including the playing field, seating bowl and roof, and White/Olson, LLC of Detroit is contracted to handle the reconstruction of the Warehouse.

June 13, 2000: Above grade cast-in-place concrete begins to start shaping the stadium’s upper bowl.

September 2000: Below-grade foundation work north of warehouse site is completed.

October 2000: Roof/atrium work begins on warehouse.

November 1, 2000: NFL owners unanimously approve the city of Detroit to host Super Bowl XL at Ford Field February 5, 2006.

November 17, 2000: Detroitlions.com launches Ford Field Web Cam to provide views with real-time updates of construction progress.

November 2000: Lions open new marketing and project office at Harmonie Park in Detroit.

December 2000: Caissons installation completed.

April 28, 2001: First steel lifted 120 feet in southwest corner of stadium to begin assembling roof structure.

October 2001: Upper bowl seats installation begins.

November 2, 2001: First massive roof lift completed. The lift of this magnitude is the first of its kind in the United States. The steel, weighing approximately 2,800 tons (5.6 million lbs.) and spanning 450 feet, is lifted by a computerized system of pulleys, cables and jacks.

December 2001: Workers begin removing approximately 300,000 cubic yards of soil and clay to shape the lower bowl and field level portion of the stadium.

December 16, 2001: Second massive roof truss lift completed.

January 24, 2002: Lions ticket office relocates to downtown office at Harmonie Park in downtown Detroit. Ticket operations scheduled to move into Ford field in Fall 2002.

February 11, 2002: Lions ticket office begins season ticket holders seat relocation process. First appointments include accounts dating back to 1950.

March 28, 2002: NFL releases 2002 schedule, with the Lions hosting the Green Bay Packers September 22 in the inaugural regular season game at Ford Field.

May 2002: Video boards installed.

May 1, 2002: Installation of lower bowl seats begins.

May 2, 2002: Ford Field announces Levy Restaurants as its official caterer and concessionaire at a food testing at the Harmonie Park Ford Field Project.

May 7, 2002: Ford Field slates The Rolling Stones as the stadium’s first major concert scheduled for October 12, 2002.

Projects completed in June 2002:
Installation of all upper bowl and suite seats.
Two 97 feet-by-27 feet LED digital video scoreboards installed.
Bathrooms completed.
Concession stands outfitted with equipment.
Carpet installed in banquet rooms, suites and press box.
Brick-like concrete pathways poured to for glass wall (southwest) atrium.
One-half of field level construction completed.
One-half of seats in the lower bowl installed.
Brick paving of Adams Street begins.

Project completed in July 2002:
Three-quarters of field level poured.
Final one-quarter of field level graded and prepared.
Lower-bowl seating installation continues.
Roof membrane (a type of skin-like finish) installed.
East side upper glass wall finished.
Fixtures in suites installed and cleaned.
Kitchen equipment calibrated.
Stadium sound system installed in roof structure.
White baffling material from ceiling hanged to reduce acoustic distortion.
Roof installation completed.
Sound and video system and scoreboard calibrated.
Seat cup holders installed.
Main glass wall (southwest) atrium glass installed.

Projects completed in August 2002:
Lions move Harmonie Park offices into Ford Field warehouse.
Stadium exterior brick walkways paved.
Final section of field level poured.
FieldTurf installed.
Stadium exterior landscaped.
Ford Field stadium staff trained.

Facts & Extra Points

Ford Field, the new home of the Detroit Lions, is comprised of approximately 1.85 million square feet with four levels of suites, a level of club seating, and a ground level designated for restaurants, concessions and retail.

The unique design incorporates the old Hudson’s warehouse (established in the 1920’s) as part of the industry-leading sports and entertainment development that will include banquet facilities, restaurants, office space, retail services, food courts, lounge areas and all private suites.

The $500 million complex boasts a seven-story atrium within the warehouse. At the end of the atrium (the southeast corner of the stadium) is a glass wall, which provides a picturesque view of the Detroit skyline.

Ford Field claims the best sight lines of any football stadium in the United States, made available by a design that omits the traditional club and suite levels, thereby lowering the upper level.

There are a total of 65,000 seats, including 8,500 club seats that feature wide padded seats, private lounges, upscale food service, and preferred parking.

There are plans to host up to 120 events during the first year of operation, including Detroit Lions football games, sporting events, concerts, banquets, tradeshows, business meetings, and conventions. The expected combined attendance of all events in the first year is 1.5 million.

A restaurant-quality dining experience for suites, private clubs, specialty concessions and special events of all sizes will be provided by Levy Restaurants Sports and Entertainment Group.