Chronological Tour: Stop 268

Downsizing the Vet

One of the many entrances to Citizens Bank Park, Jun-2004.

The seating bowl, as seen from down the right-field line.

The park looks out over 10th Street; center city Philadelphia is three miles north.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
If they had built this park with any kind of view, the new park in Philadelphia would have jumped into the upper echelon in my list of favorite Major League parks.

Citizens Bank Park replaced Veterans Stadium, which served Philadelphia baseball and football fans for 33 seasons. Early discussions had the park being built in the Chinatown section or near the 30th Street rail station, but in the end the park was built across 11th Street from the site of the Vet, which was imploded in March 2004.

The Liberty Bell after a home run.
The park reminds me most of Comerica Park in Detroit, built four years earlier. There are four levels of seating, rather than the seven at the Vet, and the park rises considerably lower than the Vet did. The upper levels are split down the right field line, a design feature I could not explain at Detroit, either. In the main seating bowl, the central sections behind home plate are fenced off so that fans cannot simply run through them and disturb spectators’ view.

Concession areas are numerous and varied, with popular local purveyors setting up shop beyond the outfield. The bullpens are stacked up atop each other in right-center, and fans can stand by the bullpens and watch pitchers warming up. Next to the bullpens is a Hall of Fame area, featuring the history of Philadelphia professional baseball and Hall of Fame players associated with the City of Brotherly Love.

Access to most seats is by walking, although there are some elevators and escalators. This is no different from the Vet, although here stairwells are provided along with pedestrian ramps.

The park has a large neon outline of the Liberty Bell in the outfield. When a Phillies player hits a home run, the bell swings and lights up with LEDs. Scoreboard displays are numerous, with all out-of-town scores shown on the right-field wall. The Phast Facts board displaying the official scoring decisions has also been retained.

In all, they did a good job making a more comfortable baseball-only park (the NFL Eagles opened a new stadium across Pattison Avenue in 2003). The main drawback is that the park is three miles from center city, so on a cloudy or hazy day the only view is of 10th Street (which runs into center field) and the lower end of the Schuylkill Expressway. A pretty view, such as is found at the new park in Pittsburgh, would have made this park truly wonderful.

Game # Date League Level Result
658 Thu 17-Jun-2004 National * MLB Detroit 5, PHILADELPHIA 4, 11 inn, night
801 Wed 28-Sep-2005 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 16, NY Mets 6
826 Sun 30-Jul-2006 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 9, Florida 2, night
892 Mon 27-Aug-2007 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 9, NY Mets 2
927 Sun 6-Jul-2008 National MLB NY Mets 4, PHILADELPHIA 2, 12 inn
1049 Tue 29-Sep-2009 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 7, Houston 4
1094 Mon 6-Sep-2010 National MLB Florida 7, PHILADELPHIA 1, day
1129 Sat 23-Jul-2011 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 8, San Diego 6
1228 Wed 29-Aug-2012 National MLB NY Mets 3, PHILADELPHIA 2
1259 Wed 31-Jul-2013 National MLB San Francisco 9, PHILADELPHIA 2
1342 Mon 18-Aug-2014 National * MLB PHILADELPHIA 4, Seattle 1
1448 Wed 30-Sep-2015 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 7, NY Mets 5
1533 Sun 2-Oct-2016 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 5, NY Mets 2
1621 Sun 1-Oct-2017 National MLB PHILADELPHIA 11, NY Mets 0
* Interleague play.
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