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Ford Field (Part II)

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WELCOME TO FORD FIELD! (Part II)

Previously, we viewed the entrance, atrium, club levels, and concourses. Now it's time to explore the press levels, lockerooms, and field. If you haven't seen part I yet, Click Here .

Let's begin!

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Starting our second part of the tour, this photo was taken on the seventh floor of the warehouse. Shown below is the setup for a convention. Notice that the field has not been put in storage or covered. It is so strong and durable that large semi trucks can drive and park on it. It is also cleaned frequently.

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Here is a good view of the massive dome from the press section on the 7th floor.

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A good closeup of the steel supporting structure. Each beam is 90 in feet height.

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Shown here is the main hallway through the press level. The Lions wanted this level to illustrate characteristics of a Detroit factory.

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The NFL instant replay room.

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This room can also be found on the seventh floor. All I know is that the coaches and players meet in this room, but I'm not sure I remember why.

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The brains behind the stadium. The appearance of this room seems to belong in a computer science research center rather than a NFL stadium. All the technical stuff that brings you the game on TV is found here as well as the Lions' servers.

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Looking down into the atrium outside the computer room.

Now It's Time To Go to the Basement!

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The basement is very confusing. You exit the elevators into a strange elevetor lobby that makes it difficult to tell which side of the stadium is which. Fortunately, there is a sign at the end of the hall that directs visitors and teams to the field. This photo was obviously taken on the stadium tour I received a year and a half ago.

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A good closeup of the original warehouse ceiling. Hope this 70+ year old structure will continue to hold up the thousands of fans above. Directly to our right is the media room where you see all those interviews after the game. Recently my friend and I found the door unlocked and I got a few snapshots, but they turned out blurry. It wasn't anything spectacular. Just an empty 45 x 35 foot room with a backdrop screen.

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The visitors' lockeroom. Deliberately built for inefficency, this room features disruptive support columns, crampt space, inadequate toilet facilities, and narrow doors. Let's face it, a poorly designed lockeroom isn't going to help the Lions win a game, but it gives Detroit fans peace of mind that it cuts the visiting team 3 minutes of half-time discussion. Normally during games, there are actually lockers in the center, making it impossible for the players to circle around and do game talk. There is also a tunnel shortcut that will be explored further down this page that helps the Lions get to their lockeroom faster. The visiting team's route is a giant utility tunnel that bows outward with a slippery sealed cement incline. Now isn't that fun to walk up after a game?

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When you walk out the doors of the visitors' lockeroom, the team gets to the field by going down this stairway. Note the carpet on the floor to keep their cleats from slipping. This part of the basement is directly beneath that "Leapin' Lion" we saw imbedded into the floor in Part I. I mentioned at the end of the tour that there was a special elevator beneath the escalators that took you to the basement across from the lockerooms. Well, the exit to the elevator is directly to the left of this photo, although not shown.

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Here is a view of both lockeroom entrances from the main tunnel. As I mentioned before, the Lions do not use this entrance, but when it comes to the upcoming Superbowl XL, things need to be fair! The double doors to the left go into the Lions' lockeroom, the doors back to the right go into the visitors' lockeroom. Can you imagine the atmosphere when both teams are present in this space? :D My friend Brian has seemed to have gotten in this shot accidentally.

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Looking back out towards the main tunnel. Note all the rule sheets posted on the walls.

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How to dress. Sadly, the Lions break the first rule: No bandanas, dew rags, whatever. But that's okay, they don't exit through the area where these are posted anyway, therefore they can disobey them.

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How to tackle! Please, I learned how to tackle when I played football in high school. Must NFL players be reminded? :huh:

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The inside of the spacious Lions' lockeroom. Nothing really impressive, but very calming.

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Another shot looking toward the exit.

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So now let's exit through the back of lockeroom to the shortcut. I managed to find the light switch on the wall to make ths photo a bit more clear. Can you imagine standing in this narrow hall waiting to take on the visiting team?

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The stairs down to the field. For every shortcut comes a price. The Lions will pay that coming back up!

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And the field! The material is called "field turf." It's nothing like astro turf because this stuff feels remarkably like real grass. Even when you push down, it gives way like natural earth. The lines are actually painted on and endzones can be painted differently for other football events or soccer games. As I mentioned previously, large trucks can actually drive on it, and it is easy to clean. In fact, there was hint of cinnamon in the air only near the field.

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These last two were taken during the draft day event. These are the suites built into the warehouse. Can you tell which one belongs to the Ford family?

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And so we end our tour here looking out the other glass atrium. I hope you enjoyed seeing this facility.

There will be another mini tour during the Draft Day event which I may post this week. That tour will conclude with photos of the inside of Comerica Park.

Ford Field Tour Part I

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