Ford Field is a domed American football stadium located in Downtown Detroit. It primarily serves as the home of the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL), as well as the annual Quick Lane Bowl college football bowl game, state championship football games for the MHSAA, and, as of 2018, the MHSAA State Wrestling Championships. The regular seating capacity is approximately 65,000, though it is expandable up to 70,000 for football and 80,000 for basketball.
Ford Field in 2015
Location within Wayne County
Location within Michigan
Location within the United States
Location within North America
|Address||2000 Brush Street|
|Owner||Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority|
|Capacity||Football: 65,000 (expandable to 70,000)|
|Record attendance||WrestleMania 23: 80,103 (April 1, 2007)|
|Broke ground||November 16, 1999|
|Opened||August 24, 2002|
|Construction cost||US$500 million|
($696 million in 2018 dollars)
Hamilton Anderson Associates, Inc.
Kaplan, McLaughlin, Diaz Architects
|Project manager||Hammes Company|
|Structural engineer||Thornton Tomasetti|
|General contractor||Hunt/Jenkins/White/Olson JV|
|Detroit Lions (NFL) (2002–present)|
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (NCAA) (2002–2013)
Quick Lane Bowl (NCAA) (2014–present)
The naming rights were purchased by the Ford Motor Company for $40 million over 20 years; the Ford family holds a controlling interest in the company, and a member of the Ford family has controlled ownership of the Lions franchise since 1963.
Planning and construction
In 1975, the Lions moved to the Pontiac Silverdome after playing at Tiger Stadium from 1938–1939, 1941–1974. By the mid 1990s, they began exploring the possibility of returning to the city of Detroit in order to build a new stadium. On August 20, 1996, the Lions announced their intention to build a new stadium in Downtown Detroit. On November 5, 1996, voters approved a referendum for the stadium.
Groundbreaking for the stadium occurred on November 16, 1999 as part of a downtown revitalization plan for the city of Detroit, which included Comerica Park.
The presence of the warehouse allows for a seating arrangement that's unique among professional American football stadiums. The majority of suites are located in the warehouse along the stadium's southern sideline, as are the lounges that serve the premium club seats on that side of the field. The bulk of the grandstand seats are located along the northern sideline and both end-lines, with gaps in the stadium's upper half at the southwest and southeast corners. The upper deck on the stadium's northern sideline also contains one level of suites and a smaller section of club seating. A similar design was implemented at the renovated Soldier Field, albeit with the use of a new structure (as opposed to an existing building) to house four levels of suites.
Unlike most domed stadiums, Ford Field allows a large amount of natural light to reach the field, thanks to immense skylights and large glass windows at the open corners. The windows along the ceiling are frosted to mimic the automotive factories that are prevalent in Metro Detroit. The south entrance provides the seating bowl and concourse with sunlight year-round and also offers fans a view of downtown Detroit. To prevent the stadium from becoming an overly imposing presence in the Detroit skyline, the playing field is 45 feet below street level, similar to the design at adjacent Comerica Park.
Ford Field is one of the few venues in the NFL that has end zones in the east and the west. There is no NFL rule for field construction in roofed venues regarding sunlight distracting players on the field. The east–west end zone design accommodated the Hudson warehouse location. The natural light is not a distraction to the players in a day game, because the light only reaches as far as the sidelines, leaving the field still properly lit with the combination of artificial stadium lighting and sunlight.
In 2017, Ford Field underwent its first major renovation. The $100 million renovation included new video boards, a new sound system, updated suites, and the renovation of multiple restaurants, clubs, and bars on the property.
Ford Field hosted Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006, as the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21–10 to win their fifth Super Bowl championship in front of 68,206 in attendance. It also marked the final game in the 13-year career for Steelers running back, and Detroit native, Jerome Bettis.
The stadium was home to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl sponsored by Detroit-based Little Caesars (previously known as the Motor City Bowl and jointly sponsored by the Big Three automakers headquartered in Detroit – Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors) from 2002 until 2013. It featured a top Mid-American Conference team and a Big Ten Conference team. The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was replaced by the Quick Lane Bowl, featuring teams from the Big Ten Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference, and backed by the Lions and Ford. It has also hosted the annual MAC Football Championship Game since 2004.
On December 13, 2010, the Minnesota Vikings played a home game at Ford Field against the New York Giants after the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome's inflatable roof collapsed due to a rip in the roofing material caused by heavy snow accumulation. The roof failure forced the already postponed game to be moved elsewhere, and after deliberations, the NFL chose Ford Field. It was the first ever regular season Monday night game played at Ford Field. The Lions hosted their first ever Monday Night Football game in Ford Field on October 10, 2011 against the Chicago Bears.
A Buffalo Bills home game against the New York Jets was played at Ford Field on November 24, 2014 after a major lake effect snowstorm hit western New York, causing the game to be moved from Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills won the game 38–3.
On December 13, 2003, Ford Field hosted the then largest crowd ever to attend a basketball game, as 78,129 people packed the stadium for the Basketbowl, where the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Michigan State Spartans, 79–74.
The University of Detroit Mercy and Ford Field hosted the 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament regional semifinal and final games (March 28 and 30). Ford Field was the site of the 2009 Final Four (April 4 and 6). For the 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament, the court was placed in the center of the football field rather than in an end of the stadium. This was the first time this configuration was used for NCAA Tournament play with the new 70,000-seat capacity rule in effect.
The 2010 Frozen Four was held on April 8 and 10 with Boston College defeating Wisconsin to win the championship. This has been the only time NCAA hockey has used a football stadium for the championship and resulted in the largest attendance (37,592) at a Frozen Four event.
High school competitions
Ford Field has hosted the MHSAA football state championships since 2005. It also hosted the MHSAA individual wrestling state finals in 2018.
The stadium has been used to host the MCBA finals, where Michigan high school marching bands compete to be the best in the state.
Ford Field hosted two group stage matches of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament on June 7, 2011. Panama played Guadeloupe in the first match, while the United States played Canada in the second match.
|Date||Winning Team||Result||Losing Team||Tournament||Spectators|
|June 7, 2011||3–2||2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C||28,209|
|December 8, 2012||2–0||Women’s International Friendly||17,371|
|September 17, 2015||5–0||Women’s International Friendly||34,538|
The Professional Bull Riders brought their Built Ford Tough Series tour to Ford Field for the first time ever on March 10, 2012. Ford Field is the second Detroit area venue the BFTS has visited; they had visited The Palace of Auburn Hills in 2001, 2006 and 2007.
The United States Hot Rod Association (USHRA) holds multiple Monster Jam Monster Truck races at Ford Field. These races were previously held in the Pontiac Silverdome until it was closed. AMA Supercross Championship, also a Feld Entertainment competition, has competed at Ford Field from 2006 to 2008 and 2014 to 2017. The USHRA usually runs 2-3 events a year at Ford Field.
On April 1, 2007, Ford Field hosted World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania 23. This event set a Ford Field attendance record of 80,103. It was the first WrestleMania held in the Detroit area since 93,173 fans set a world indoor attendance record at the Pontiac Silverdome for WrestleMania III in 1987.
In 2015, Ford Field housed the large group gatherings of the ELCA Youth Gathering.
On November 18, 2017, Ford Field hosted the Beatification Mass of Fr. Solanus Casey, a Capuchin Franciscan Friar who ministered at the nearby St. Bonaventure Monastery on Mt. Elliott. The near-capacity crowd was one of the largest Catholic masses in Detroit history.
|October 12, 2002||The Rolling Stones||No Doubt||Licks Tour||This was the first concert at the stadium.|
|July 12–13, 2003||Eminem||50 Cent|
|95,709 / 96,707||$5,257,000|
|February 5, 2006||The Rolling Stones||—||A Bigger Bang||68,206||—||This concert was a part of Super Bowl XL.|
|April 7–8, 2006||Delirious?||Tim Hughes|
|The Mission Bell Tour||The band used Paul Evans as a stand-in drummer instead of regular drummer Stew Smith who stayed at home to be with his family.|
|August 26, 2006||Kenny Chesney||Dierks Bentley|
|The Road & The Radio Tour||44,836 / 44,836||$3,408,357|
|August 18, 2007||Brooks & Dunn||Flip Flop Summer 2007 Tour||47,470 / 47,470||$4,112,541|
|August 2, 2008||Keith Urban|
|Poets & Pirates Tour||46,871 / 48,194||$3,931,995|
|November 18, 2008||Madonna||—||Sticky & Sweet Tour||30,119 / 30,119||$2,395,900|
|August 22, 2009||Kenny Chesney||Miranda Lambert|
|Sun City Carnival Tour||49,215 / 49,215||$3,843,639|
|January 15, 2011||Kid Rock||Ty Stone|
|Born Free Tour||—||—||This concert was part of his 40th birthday party. Among the guests were Uncle Kracker, Peter Wolfe, Reverend Run, Sheryl Crow, Cindy Crawford, Jimmie Johnson, and Anita Baker.|
|June 11, 2011||Taylor Swift||Needtobreathe|
|Speak Now World Tour||47,992 / 47,992||$3,453,549|
|August 20, 2011||Kenny Chesney|
Zac Brown Band
|Goin' Coastal Tour||48,225 / 48,225||$4,169,719|
|August 18, 2012||Kenny Chesney|
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
|Brothers of the Sun Tour||48,943 / 48,943||$4,560,108|
|May 4, 2013||Taylor Swift||Ed Sheeran|
|The Red Tour||48,265 / 48,265||$3,969,059|
|July 18, 2013||Bon Jovi||The J. Geils Band||Because We Can||43,142 / 43,142||$2,638,975|
|August 6, 2013||Justin Timberlake|
|DJ Cassidy||Legend of the Summer Stadium Tour||42,035 / 42,035||$3,968,119|
|August 17, 2013||Kenny Chesney|
|Eli Young Band|
|No Shoes Nation Tour||45,839 / 45,839||$3,733,711|
|August 16–17, 2014||One Direction||5 Seconds of Summer||Where We Are Tour||92,428 / 92,428||$8,304,416||During the August 16 performance, the band performed a cover of "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus.|
|May 30, 2015||Taylor Swift||Vance Joy|
|The 1989 World Tour||50,703 / 50,703||$5,999,690||Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, Martha Hunt & Gigi Hadid were special guests.|
|August 22, 2015||Kenny Chesney|
|The Big Revival Tour||49,285 / 49,285||$4,903,524|
|August 29, 2015||One Direction||Icona Pop||On The Road Again Tour||42,767 / 42,767||$2,700,684||This concert took place on Liam Payne's 22nd birthday.|
|September 8, 2015||AC/DC||Vintage Trouble||Rock Or Bust World Tour||43,000 / 43,000||TBA|
|October 30, 2015||Luke Bryan||Florida Georgia Line|
|Kick the Dust Up Tour||44,004 / 44,004||$3,760,515|
|June 14, 2016||Beyoncé||DJ Khaled||The Formation World Tour||41,524 / 41,524||$5,471,395||This concert was originally scheduled to take place on May 29, 2016, but was rescheduled due to "scheduling changes". During the show, she dedicated "Halo" to the victims affected by the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.|
|June 23, 2016||Guns N' Roses||Alice in Chains||Not in This Lifetime... Tour||44,439 / 44,439||$4,776,766|
|October 29, 2016||Luke Bryan||Little Big Town|
|Kill the Lights Tour||39,573 / 45,000||$3,418,006|
|September 3, 2017||U2||Beck||The Joshua Tree Tour 2017||42,905 / 42,905||$4,936,605||Special appearance by Patti Smith at the end of the Joshua Tree portion of the set during "Mothers of the Disappeared."|
|August 4, 2018||Kenny Chesney||Thomas Rhett|
|The Trip Around the Sun Tour||48,826 / 48,826||$4,968,563|
|August 13, 2018||Beyoncé|
|Chloe X Halle and DJ Khaled||On the Run II Tour||43,699 / 43,699||$5,310,376|
|August 28, 2018||Taylor Swift||Camila Cabello|
|Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour||49,464 / 49,464||$6,597,852|
|September 8, 2018||Ed Sheeran||Snow Patrol|
|÷ Tour||47,804 / 47,804||$4,481,290|
|October 26, 2018||Luke Bryan||Sam Hunt|
|What Makes You Country Tour||TBA||TBA|
|October 25, 2019||Luke Bryan||Cole Swindell|
|Sunset Repeat Tour||TBA||TBA|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ford Field.|
|Events and tenants|
| Home of
2002 – present
| Host of
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
2002 – 2013
| Host of
Super Bowl XL
| Host of
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
| Home of the
TCF Bank Stadium
Ralph Wilson Stadium
| Home of the
Ralph Wilson Stadium
| NCAA Men's Division I
Lucas Oil Stadium
| Host of the
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
| Headquarters of
2006 – present