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Re-envisioning the Fan Experience at Ford Field 

The $100M Ford Field Renovation Project is a comprehensive re-envisioning of the fan experience throughout the stadium. As the architects of the original stadium in 2002, The Detroit Lions partnered with ROSSETTI to upgrade their hospitality spaces in order to align with the changing local marketplace and demographics, as well as better utilize space within the stadium. A total of 210,000 SF of space was renovated in place or completely reconfigured in a compressed seven-month time frame to be completed by August, 2017 for the start of the pre-game football season. The renovations transformed unused and dated suites and empty space into large social clubs, mini-suites and new loge seating to enhance the experience for every type of Lions fan.

The design concept strengthened the Lions’ brand, the team’s football legacy and history in Detroit. Design inspiration was taken from surrounding neighborhoods to highlight the grit, determination and context of the adjacent city, as well as automotive industry. The design themes are expressed through layering the team’s colors and graphics, as well as local textures, custom designed furniture and finishes, and curated displays that were constructed by local craftsman and artisans.  


ROSSETTI enhanced the experience on the south side of the stadium for existing ticket holders, maintaining the traditional base space programming with an updated design aesthetic that related to Detroit’s industries. The furnishings and finishes reflect a modern aesthetic while blending with existing elements. The south side clubs were reconfigured by removing existing suites on the club level to create open viewing onto the field. Doing this allowed for the addition of loge boxes - a new product that provides in-seat food and beverage service.

On the north side, the design strategy brought in a youthful spirit with a more modern design aesthetic, innovative use of materials, lighting and custom furniture. The new design aesthetic of the north side is influenced by auto industry styling and mid-century modern industrial design. Clubs now have volumes of space to encourage mobility, socializing and viewing in a variety of seating options. For the first time since the stadium was built, the North side has a full 4,000 SF kitchen creating more opportunities for corporate events.


Miller Lite Taproom hovers five levels above the field on the North side of the stadium, and is intended to be a fresh, youthful experience, and is open to all fans. The edge of the club is lined with lounge-type seating to encourage socializing and movement while taking advantage of the open view of the field


This club was designed to encourage social and communal gathering that is the hallmark of business networking in this north-suite level. At its core are the 12 theater box-style mini-suites that can accommodate a small group of 10 people to watch the game but still have the option of gathering in a club-like environment directly outside of their suite.


The Grid-Iron Club capitalizes on Detroit’s growing culinary recognition and the social scene that parallels it. Food takes center stage at this club, by the addition of four new Detroit-centric concessions manned by the Detroit’s hottest new culinary sensations. 


The Corner Bar design is inspired by the memory of when both the Detroit Lions and Tigers played in Briggs Stadium, in the same corner of the iconic Detroit Corktown neighborhood where the team played for nearly four decades. The bar highlights special memories captured by Detroit Lions’ fans, with themes alluding to the old-school drinking holes that lined the Corktown streets. The 150-linear foot bar, made from oak, blackened steel, and old factory glass accents is the centerpiece of the bar. A multi-screen video wall and LED statistic board are framed by a wall of vintage lockers and scoreboard. 


The new South Club was created by transforming several suites into a club with open volumes of space. Fans now have expansive views onto the field with many opportunities for movement around the space while socializing and viewing.


Twelve loge boxes are a brand new concept, featuring large, comfortable seats and in-seat food and beverage service.


At the conclusion of the season, The Detroit Lions experienced the largest percentage increase in year-over-year ticket sales among all NFL teams. The previously underperforming north side saw triple year-over-year revenue growth, with all premium products selling out. The renovated spaces have presented valuable new partnership and sponsorship revenue with companies such as Comerica Bank, Plante Moran, and Miller Brewing Company for multi-year contracts. In addition, Ford Field is now in a much better position to pursue major sporting events, such as the Final Four, NFL Draft and a new Major League Soccer team in Detroit.