PHILADELPHIA -- The NFL is facing stiff competition -- from itself.
As television screens get larger and clearer and more lifelike, and as viewing options allow the home viewer to follow multiple games at once, the in-stadium experience has suffered a bit in comparison.
That's one reason the Eagles announced a partnership with Panasonic to replace the enormous video boards in Lincoln Financial Field with what the team says are the highest-resolution screens in the NFL. The deal, part of a stadium revitalization project that includes improved wireless capability, will include large monitors and LED ribbon boards throughout the stadium.
"Our fans deserve the ultimate experience every time they step foot into Lincoln Financial Field," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a prepared statement. "One of our top priorities during this revitalization project was to enhance that experience by providing them with the highest quality HD video boards and LED ribbon boards."
Lurie may have another goal in mind. He made some news last summer by saying he wanted to try to bring a Super Bowl to Philadelphia. At the time, the first cold-weather, open-air Super Bowl at the Meadowlands was six months away.
Now, it is a few days away. And while the whole New York/New Jersey Super Bowl idea has been controversial and endlessly debated, it is starting to look as if the NFL will get away with it.
Yes, it has been well below freezing in the Northeast this week. But there is snow and ice on the ground in such "warm-weather" former Super Bowl host cities such as Atlanta and Jacksonville. And from personal experience, let me just say that the absolute worst weather for the pregame activities has been in Dallas and Atlanta.
Lurie said last summer that his chances of making a serious bid depended on the Meadowlands Super Bowl going well. That hasn't happened yet, obviously, but it is getting closer. And if it does work out, the Linc will be in better shape than ever for the selection committee (of which Lurie is a member) to consider.