“The field’s going to be torn up. The field’s going to be re-sodded, so it sort-of ruled out this first weekend.”
By Peter Gleason
Eagles president Don Smolenski is blaming the Rolling Stones concert at the Linc for the bungling of the fans open practice cutback from two to one sessions.
He told 94.1 WIP that opening up just one practice this season will be more than enough to meet demand, based on last year’s attendance.
“What we found is last year, 120,000 tickets were reserved for the two practices, and of those, only 10,000 were actually reserved for both days. And only 2,500 people actually came to both days. … So really what that was showing to us is we can do this in one practice,” Smolenski said, later adding that the team could have more open practices next year if demand increases.
So far, 23,000 tickets have been sold for the open practice, which will take place at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, Aug. 4, at 7 p.m..
Smolenski also defended the decision to charge $10 per ticket to enter (plus a Ticketmaster fee of $1.22) this year, the first time fans won’t be able to attend an Eagles practice for free. In addition to all the proceeds going to autism research, Smolenski said it was necessary to have a “good an experience” and cited Wing Bowl (which ended its run in 2018 after 26 years) as an example.
“I think having this donation makes people vested, so if the weather is questionable, they’ll still continue to come and support the team,” Smolenski told Cataldi. “It allows us to plan for who’s coming, much like you experienced and the success you had with Wing Bowl.”
Smolenski also said additional considerations were at play, including scheduling and preserving field conditions at the Linc. On top of the open practice and two preseason games, the Rolling Stones will perform there Tuesday (rescheduled from June 4 due to Mick Jagger’s heart surgery).