It’s been nearly 44 years since the Philadelphia Eagles called Franklin Field home. For one day over the summer, the historic stadium will house the Birds again.
The Eagles have announced a number of important dates for training camp, which will again be closed to the public for the second straight year. To make amends, however, the team is holding three public practices—two at Lincoln Financial Field, one at Franklin, which is still home to the University of Pennsylvania.
Team president Don Smolenski released the following statement through the club’s web page, as did UPenn athletic director Steve Bilsky.
“We are looking forward to another summer of Eagles football in Philadelphia,” said Eagles President Don Smolenski. “Although the total number of open practices has been reduced from last year due to events in and around our stadium as well as the joint practice sessions in Foxboro, we remain committed to providing our fans a fun atmosphere as they get an up-close look at our team, including what we think will be a special day at Franklin Field.”
“We are excited to have the Eagles return to Franklin Field,” said Penn’s Director of Athletics, Steve Bilsky. “The Eagles enjoyed so many memorable moments here from 1958-70, and we think August 10 will be a great day for the franchise and the fans to revisit this historic venue. Penn is honored to welcome head coach Chip Kelly, his staff, and the Eagles players back to our campus, and we think it will be a fantastic day for everyone involved.”
As Smolenski mentioned, there are fewer public practice dates this year—three, compared to five in 2013. It seemed as though attendance dropped off a bit at the later practices at the Linc though.
The most important part: these events are all free. Tickets will made available for the August 10 Franklin Field date on the Penn Athletics web site beginning July 16. Please visit the link at the bottom for more details on all of the club's public practices.
If you look back in franchise history, Franklin Field is really where the Eagles’ rise in popularity really took off. In 1960, the building played host to the NFL Championship game, where the Birds defeated the Green Bay Packers 17-13, helping to cement Philly's love of pro football. All told, the team played its home games there from 1958 to 1970.
No word on whether Santa Claus will be in attendance.
All players are scheduled to report to the NovaCare Complex for training camp on July 25.
>> Eagles Announce Training Camp Dates [PE.com]