After my most recent trip to the States, I was able to attend several sports stadia. Here’s a brief recap of my trip to home of the Philadelphia Phillies, Citizens Bank Park.
Citizens Bank Park was built as a replacement for the outdated Veterans Stadium, which has since been demolished and converted into a car park right next to it’s successor.
It opened on April 3, 2004 and hosted its first regular-season game on April 12, where the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Phillies 4-1.
CBP has played host to many significant events over the years. The largest was on October 25, 2008 when the ballpark hosted its first ever World Series game. The Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 in game 3 of the series. The Phillies eventually won the World Series that year, the second in franchise history.
Lastly, the most memorable, for many, is Roy Halladay’s no-hitter, the first at the stadium. His performance was even more monumental given the magnitude of the game. It was the first game of the 2010 NLDS against the Reds.
From the outset, Citizens Bank Park has a distinctive look. It’s big, bold and dare I say it, beautiful. A short jaunt around the stadium provides an insight into the great players of the past, with statues honouring:
“Lefty” Steve Carlton: A four-time National League Cy Young Award Winner, Carlton achieved 10 All-Star appearances, whilst winning 2 World Series. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
Mike Schmidt: The 12-time All-Star, World Series Champion and World Series MVP claimed 10 Gold Glove Awards in his illustrious career. He was then nominated to the Major League Baseball All-Time Team and Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.
Richie Ashburn: This six-time All-Star won the National League Batting Title twice and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.
Each player’s number has been retired by the organisation.
Notable Features of the Park
Citizens Bank Park is the gift that keeps giving. Seriously, there are so many cool features here.
Take the Phillies Wall of Fame, for example. Here you’ll find a plaque dedicated to every member of the Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame.
The Liberty Bell looms large in the outfield. It is lit in Phillies colours after each home run and once the victory is secured.
Finally, for my favourite part of the park. “Bull’s BBQ”, named after the slugger, Greg “Bull” Luzinski, you can grab a bite to eat at this outlet part owned by the man himself. Often, Luzinski attends the games and even signs autographs and partakes in selfies if need be. Something he generously did for me.
Transportation in Philadelphia is very well constructed, particularly the subway, which I used every time I set off on a journey. The Broad Street line will take you all the way from the most northern region of the city to the sports complex, located in the South which plays host to all of the sports teams in Philadelphia.
Alternatively, there are numerous buses available at all times. If that still doesn’t satisfy your needs, then you can catch a cab on almost every corner in the city. Including at the stadium, so getting home is simply not an issue.
Inside the Ballpark
There is no such a thing as a ‘bad seat in the house’ at Citizens Bank Park. For those who enjoy the luxuries in life, then the Diamond Club/Hall of Fame suite is the place for you. Here you have an excellent view of the ballpark and are gained access to a small museum inside the building, amongst luxuries like private restrooms and bars. Here is a view from the Hall of Fame Club.
On the other hand, your chances of catching a home run are much higher sitting in the outfield, particularly in left field. You also have a great view of the ballpark as a whole and you may even get to have a conversation with a player.
The most unique view of the ballpark for me was sitting in right field, section 202 to be exact. You still have a similarly great view, however, below you can see the pitchers at work in their respective bullpens. This view provides a fantastic insight into the sport and is a great addition to the ballpark. And who knows, it might just be Nola day when you visit.