The design, fabrication, and characterization of an upconversion-luminescence enhancer based on a two-dimensional plasmonic crystal are described. Full-wave finite-difference time domain analysis was used for optimizing the geometrical parameters of the plasmonic crystal for maximum plasmon activity, as signified by minimum light reflection. The optimum design produced >20× enhancement in the average electromagnetic field intensity within a one-micron-thick dielectric film over the plasmonic crystal. The optimized plasmonic upconverter was fabricated and used to enhance the upconversion efficiency of sodium yttrium fluoride: 3% erbium, 17% ytterbium nanocrystals dispersed in a poly(methylmethcrylate) matrix. A thin film of the upconversion layer, 105 nm in thickness, was spin-coated on the surface of the plasmonic crystal, as well as on the surfaces of planar gold and bare glass, which were used as reference samples. Compared to the sample with a planar gold back reflector, the plasmonic crystal showed an enhancement of 3.3× for upconversion of 980-nm photons to 655-nm photons. The upconversion enhancement was 25.9× compared to the same coating on bare glass. An absorption model was developed to assess the viability of plasmonically enhanced upconversion for photovoltaic applications.