Citizens Bank Park represents the latest generation of the finest ballparks of the United State. Located within South Philadelphia Sports Complex, this Pennsylvania-based baseball stadium is home to MLB franchise the Philadelphia Phillies. Enchanting natural grass with a vast blue skyline, Citizens Bank Park cast a spell on every baseball fan visiting there. Constructed as a replacement for Veterans Stadium, this baseball stadium boasts a fascinating architectural design, an impressive history, and an endless experience for baseball enthusiasts. The kid-friendly environment, great concession areas, and exciting events invite thousands every year to relish in its exclusive and enticing ambiance.
History of Citizens Bank Park
Until the late 1990s, Veterans Stadium, a multi-purpose sports ground, was the premium address for all major football, baseball, and other sports activities in Pennsylvania. However, a railing of the stadium collapsed during a 1998 event injuring many from the army and navy. In 1999, the Philadelphia Phillies and the NFL franchise the Philadelphia Eagles joined hands demanding a new stadium.
The Eagles moved to build Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia following its opening in 2003. The city leadership proposed various sites for the construction of a new stadium for the Phillies, who wanted a downtown ballpark like Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore or Oracle Park in San Francisco. Finally, they settled for a site in Chinatown of Philadelphia. However, the residents of Chinatown fearing the destruction of their neighborhood due to the construction of a new ballpark opposed the decision. As a result, the City council proposed an alternative piece of land at the present-day South Philadelphia Sports Complex to the Phillies.
The final design of the Citizens Bank Park was unveiled on 28th June 2001 by architect Stanley Cole. Though the construction officially ended on 12th August 2003, the park was inaugurated on April 3, 2004. The bullpen of the park was reallocated shortly after the opening to allow a better view of the game to the Phillies’ pitchers and save them from heckles by the home crowd.
In 2003, Citizens Bank paid $95 million to acquire the park’s naming rights for 25 years. The deal also included advertising space on and off the field, including print and electronic media.
Features and Amenities
Citizens Bank Park is a wonderful baseball stadium with a lot of admirable features. The unique architecture of this park and the facilities for the baseball fans make it worth the appreciation. Ashburn Alley located overlooking the centerfield of the park is an awesome place to enjoy a family-friendly environment. It is a walkway having restaurants and games alongside the Phillies memorabilia. The alley was named after Richie Ashburn, who was a player and the broadcaster for the Phillies. There is a bronze-made statue of Ashburn behind the center field.
The All-Star Walk, a part of the Ashburn Alley, has granite markers honoring all the Phillies players, who had played in the MLB All-Star Games since 1933. Baseball fans can enjoy a barbecue at the Bull’s BBQ. Pizza of Seasons pizza, hoagie of Planet hoagie, cheesesteaks of Campo’s, and roast pork of Tony Luke’s offer a pleasant collection of foods to enjoy at Ashburn Alley.
The alley also has a game-playing arena, Games of Baseball, where fans can play a video trivia game and win prizes. Run-the-bases with the Phillie Phanatic and “Ring ˈEm Up” are some popular games that one can enjoy there. Phillies Wall of Fame and Memory Lane contains numerous pictures of Phillies and the members of sister franchises. Also, the exposed bullpen is present in the center of the field allowing the fans to view the players closely. Rooftop bleachers add to the beautiful view of Ashburn Alley.
Diamond Club and Hall of Fame Club are the two exclusive seating arrangements at Citizens Bank Park. Diamond Club is an air-conditioned area and has a food and souvenir shop for the ticket holders. This area has 1,164 seats behind the home plate offering ticket holders the premium view of batting practices. It has memorabilia from the past teams going back to the 1880s and Philadelphia athletics. The 6,600-seat Hall of Fame Club is also air-conditioned and has food and souvenir shops close to the media and scoreboard boxes.
The High and Inside pub is open only for groups before the game and for all once the game starts. Citizens Bank Park also has two stores – New Era Phillies Team and 47 Alley. The first one is a bi-level store having regular merchandise on the first floor while player jerseys as well as Phanatic-themed items on the second floor. 47Alley store sells replicas of Phillies jerseys during home games.
McFadden’s Bar and Grill is a restaurant at Citizens Bank Park. Phanatic Phun Zone is an exclusive arena for kids has a vast playground complete with slides, climbs, and many other games. It also has a separate area for toddlers. Phanatic Giant Shoe slide is another attraction for kids.
Citizens Bank Park exhibits 10-ft bronze statutes of former Phillies greats Robin Roberts, Mike Schmidt, and Steve Carlton at different gates. There are also tile mosaics, murals, and terrazzo floors spread across the baseball stadium.
Citizens Bank Park turned a green stadium in 2008 when the Philadelphia Phillies became the first MLB team to sign a green power partnership agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. Everything in the ballpark, including glass, cardboard, plastics, and cooking oils, are recycled for different use and has a minimal environmental impact.
Citizens Bank Park was the best in ballpark food in a 2007 survey by Food Network. Since 2007, PETA has consistently ranked the ballpark as amongst America’s most vegetarian-friendly stadiums.
Purely Baseball Things To Know
- Citizens Bank Park is located next to NHL arena Wells Fargo Center, NFL stadium Lincoln Financial Field, and Xfinity Live! entertainment arena in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.
- The Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 world series, 2008 and 2009 NL Pennants, and East Division Titles from 2007 to 2011 while playing at the ballpark.
- The first exhibition game witnessed the Philadelphia Phillies losing to Cleveland Indians 6-9 on April 3, 2004.
- In the first MLB game on April 12, 2004, the Philadelphia Phillies lost 4-1 to the Cincinnati Reds.
- The inaugural year saw 218 home runs at Citizens Bank Park. Next year, it was 201 home runs. All these scored on the left-field. This led to a change in the boundary pushing back the left-field wall by 5 feet.
- Citizens Bank Park is among the top 10 most hitter-friendly baseball stadiums.
- The first run at the ballpark is a lead-off ground-rule double by D’Angelo Jiménez of the Cincinnati Reds.
- Jim Thome of the Philadelphia Phillies scored his 400th home run on June 14, 2004, at this baseball stadium.
- The credit to hit the first inside-the-park home run at Citizens Bank Park goes to Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies. He scored it on June 20, 2004.
- Andrew Jones of the Atlanta Braves scored the then longest hit at Citizens Bank Park on September 14, 2005. The ball traveled 430 ft and it was his 300th home run.
- On June 27, 2007, Ryan Howard broke the record for the longest hit with a 505-ft home run against the Reds.
- In 2008, the baseball stadium hosted the first World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies routed the Tampa Bay Rays 5–4 to achieve the world series win after 28 years.
- On October 6, 2010, Roy Halladay of the home team achieved the first no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds.
- Citizens Bank Park to host the 2026 MLB All-Star Game “to commemorate the 250th year of the Declaration of Independence.”
Apart from baseball games, Citizens Bank Park also hosted NHL Winter Classic in 2012. Concerts are a regular feature at the baseball stadium since Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band performed there in 2005. Jimmy Buffett, Billy Joel, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Paul McCartney are among the stars, who had their concerts at the stadium.