When the Detroit Lions announced that Ford Field would get a new playing surface for the first time since the building opened more than a decade ago, the curiosities of fans led to wondering if a new paint job would also be in order. More specifically, a return of the Honolulu blue end zones that Lions fans saw when the team occupied the Pontiac Silverdome. I will admit that the possibility came to my mind quite quickly and all you have to do is read the comment sections of articles about the new turf installation to know I am not alone.
Since moving to Ford Field, the Lion shave left the bulk of the end zone unpainted, with just the word “LIONS” painted across the middle. The font was updated following the 2009 logo update, but there was no change otherwise.
During Ford Field’s history, the end zones have always looked like this during Lions games:
And this has been reflected in the stadium and seating map images used on the team’s website and in promotional materials. For example:
But if you take a look at the most recent stadium diagrams, as well as the seating chart sent to season ticket holders in their renewal packets, you will notice the end zones have been painted blue. Check it out:
Could it be the Lions will have painted end zones next season? Before you write off the evidence as flimsy based on a meaningless minor image detail, consider the following:
1. There is nothing about the seating or pricing that changes for the 2013 season so there isn’t a reason to expect the seating chart image to change at all. They could have simply changed “2012″ to “2013″ and the information would have been accurate. Instead, someone took the time to change the appearance of the field, suggesting there has to be a reason.
2. This wouldn’t be the first time a relatively minor detail on the Detroit Lions website meant something bigger. Some of these have been covered on this site before, like the player images disappearing during the lockout (and returning after the lockout) or a blurred out Reebok logo after Nike’s NFL uniform deal took effect.