Arguably the most popular among the city’s collection of professional sports teams, the Philadelphia Eagles maintain one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports. It’s hard to visit Philadelphia in the fall and winter without encountering midnight green flags blowing in the wind or “E-A-G-L-E-S” chants breaking out without warning. Below are a few tips which will help immerse you in the Philadelphia Eagles fandom during your visit.
Part of the South Philadelphia sports complex, Lincoln Financial Field (lovingly referred to as “the Linc”), is the home nest of the Philadelphia Eagles. Opened in 2003, the nearly 70,000-seat stadium has hosted some of the most memorable games in the team’s history, including the 2018 NFC Championship game which ultimately propelled the Eagles to Super Bowl LII (they won – marking the Bird’s first Super Bowl victory). Tickets for the regular season are often sold-out shortly after becoming available, but visitors looking to enjoy a game can find resale tickets on StubHub or Ticketmaster. TIP: To get to the game with ease, hop on SEPTA’s Broad Street Line which ends at the sports complex. You’ll likely find yourself surrounded by other passionate fans singing the fight song (more on that below).
For a behind the scenes look at the home of the Eagles, visitors can buy tickets for a scheduled tour of Lincoln Financial Field. Beginning and ending in the Eagles Pro Shop, the tour winds its way through the depths of the stadium – including trips to the locker room and players’ tunnel – and eventually makes its way to the upper levels for rare glimpses inside the press box, broadcast booth, and even some of the luxurious suites on the club level.
The most notable play in Eagles history may be the “Philly Special” in Super Bowl LII when quarterback Nick Foles caught a go-ahead touchdown pass from the tight end. This moment of trickery helped tip the scales in the Eagles’ favor to eventually secure their first-ever Super Bowl win. The moment the play was called has been forever immortalized via a massive bronze statue of the quarterback-coach tandem, currently gracing the north end of Lincoln Financial Field in Headhouse Plaza. Whether you’re going to a game or visiting on a non-game day, taking a photo with the iconic statue is a must-do. TIP: Headhouse Plaza is accessible without needing a ticket on select non-game days, as is the Eagles Pro Shop inside, which offers a collection of fan paraphernalia including jerseys, hats, shirts, home décor, and more (clothes and shoes are tax-free in Philadelphia).
Only a handful of NFL teams have kept alive the long-standing tradition of a good fight song, or a rallying cry for which to celebrate any touchdown scored by the home team. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie attempted to resurrect the fading fad when he bought the team in 1998 after changing the musical key on the old “Eagles Victory Song,” and the song title to “Fly, Eagles, Fly.” Today, the stadium erupts every time Carson Wentz throws a touchdown to Alshon Jeffery or DeSean Jackson. It has become so ingrained in the city’s fabric that people often break out in song in their cars, on the subway or even at weddings. The original lyrics were composed by Charles Borrelli and Roger Courtland in 1960, but the newer version has a few tweaks. One constant is it gets an added boost at the end when fans phonetically spell out the team name: “E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!”
Fly, Eagles Fly!
On the road to victory! (Fight! Fight! Fight!)
Fight, Eagles fight!
Score a touchdown 1, 2, 3! (1! 2! 3!)
Hit ’em low!
Hit ’em high!
And watch our Eagles fly!
Fly, Eagles Fly!
On the road to victory!
Following the Super Bowl LII win, a strangely perfect mural depicting a giant eagle clawing at a tiny Tom Brady appeared on a building located at 829 Bainbridge Street. The unusual mural was the work of Meg Saligman and she named it “Bird Feed.” There are at least eight murals dedicated to the Birds around town, including a world champion one called “Bringing it Home” at the Hale Building in Center City (also by Saligman, but this time ditches Tom Brady for a Lombardi Trophy in the talons), a caricature inside The Palm restaurant at Broad & Walnut, a Super Bowl mural at Spike’s Trophies on Grant Avenue in Northeast Philly, a “Philly Special” tribute at 2nd and Sigel streets, and a block-long “Our City, Our Team” mural opposite Lincoln Financial Field along Darien Street featuring a collage of Eagles moments and related imagery. The latter also happens to be the fifth-largest mural in the country.
If you aren’t able to score tickets to a game or the team is away, don’t fret – the city is filled with sports bars and restaurants which will assuredly have their TVs tuned to the Eagles on gameday. For a near-stadium experience, head to Xfinity Live! in the sports complex, which is home to over 100 screens, six distinct sections, and a plethora of gameday specials. Also in South Philadelphia is Chickie’s & Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar, which has been voted Best Sports Bar in North American by ESPN. Closer to Center City, popular gameday destinations include McGillin’s Old Ale House, BRU Craft & Wurst, City Tap House, and Cavanaugh’s. Those near the Pennsylvania Convention Center should seek out Field House Sports Bar – the largest sports bar in Center City which just so happens to be connected to the Center. TIP: Arrive thirsty and bring an appetite, as each location offers their own unique menu of local cuisine and craft beer. For a true Philadelphia experience, seek out any cheesesteaks or roast pork sandwiches and chase them down with a pint of Yards Pale Ale.
Following the 2018 Super Bowl victory, the Eagles paraded north along Broad Street as thousands upon thousands of fans filled the streets, cheering on the team and hoping for a view of the long-awaited Lombardi Trophy. The 5-mile route stretches from Lincoln Financial Field all the way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Pass popular Philadelphia sites such as the restaurant-lined thoroughfares of Passyunk Avenue and South Street as well as the many performing arts venues that occupy the Avenue of the Arts including the Kimmel Center, Academy of Music, and Merriam Theater. The parade then looped around historic City Hall and passed by the iconic LOVE Park before making its final sprint up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, passing Swann Fountain, the Barnes Foundation, and Franklin Institute, ultimately ending at the famous Rocky Steps.Cover photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles.