Below are some early images of the new Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center, where the Lehigh Valley SteelHawks will kick off their fifth season on Sunday April 12, 2015 versus the Marion Blue Racers.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the brand new turf field inside the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. As you know, the SteelHawks Professional Indoor Football League team will make this their new home this Spring. The field has been sponsored by Embassy Bank. The turf was cut and sized on Monday, and yesterday the lines and painting were completed. The field was due to be removed last night in advance of hockey practice this morning for the Phantoms. The field probably won’t re-appear at the PPL Center until after the hockey game on Saturday, April 11.
Against my recommendation that the field be green–you know like fake grass is supposed to be–the SteelHawks went with a team colored field. Thankfully, their team colors are not retina-burning red or ugly fluorescent blue. The Black and Vegas Gold field is quite striking, as you can see in the pictures below. The team officials were busy painting the lines and numbers as I took the photos. What you may not be able to appreciate, is that while the lines are white, the numbers and hash marks are silver; it’s a nice look.
Now that the field has been installed and prepared, it can be rolled out by the arena staff in preparation for indoor football when it is needed. Some additional advertisements will be added to the field and to the end zones as the season grows nearer. End zone logos will be added, probably, for next season. There is a sub-floor which covers the ice, of course. It is used for concerts and events during hockey season, and is insulated well enough that condensation does not form and make the floor or turf wet. However, the field is a little cool to the touch! Following hockey season, they will melt the ice, at which point the field will be installed directly on the concrete floor of the arena. The “carpet” does have a modicum of padding, and at least while it is installed on the sub-floor, that adds some springiness to the feel of the field, as well. The seams are barely noticeable and very secure; game play should be safe and uninterrupted by field repairs!
The hockey “boards” are covered with padding as they were at Stabler. ALL of the “glass” will be taken down for football, despite what you see below, where they left the penalty boxes intact for the installation days. The nets which are in place at each end of the arena–above the goals for hockey–will remain in place for football in order to catch the kickoffs and field goals. The scoreboard will be raised until the top edge is flush with the ceiling. Football game action–and replays–will be visible on the big screens! (I hope those refs are ready!) Much–but probably not all–of the arena’s orange Phantoms trappings will be covered with black for SteelHawks games. For now, only the lower bowl will be available for fans; however, the luxury and hospitality areas will be available. Contact the SteelHawks if you’d like to book a group!
We’ll have more on the SteelHawks’ home opener, and the guest opponent, coming up. A fill-in was needed for the now-defunct Harrisburg franchise–and one was found! Stay tuned. For now, though, enjoy the photos below, and consider ordering season tickets if you haven’t done so already. There are ONLY six (6) home games, and the tickets are not expensive. Plus, even if you think you won’t be able to make all the games, remember that season tickets are a little cheaper than single-game tickets by face value, and a LOT cheaper once you figure in the fees that the PPL Center adds.
For more information on the SteelHawks, please visit their web site here. To inquire about season tickets or for questions about hospitality areas, you can call them at 610-282-3100. Single game tickets will be available later this month. For more information about Embassy Bank, click here.
All photos (c) @Kram209