Pro Sports Stadium Review: Citizens Bank Park

Philadelphia is the “city of brotherly love” and the home of the Phillies, a Major League franchise with a long and sometimes successful history.

Since 2004, this team has been playing its home games in a hitter-friendly stadium known as Citizens Bank Park. It is a building that locals call “The Bank.”

And from the year it opened until last year, it was like a bank for the home team. The Phillies had a powerful lineup built for the close-in fences of this “baseball bandbox.”  And their hitters, players like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and others cashed in regularly.

The left field foul pole is a mere from home plate. In right field the distance is similar. That foul pole is from the batter’s box. Centerfield is easily reachable, too. It is just from “the dish.” .

To accomplished players like those mentioned above, hitting at “The Bank” felt like swinging for Little League fences.

Yes, it seemed that easy which is why the home team prospered for several years. They had the right players performing in the right ballpark. They won far more than they lost and the fan base responded by attending games frequently.

Citizens Bank Park has a seating capacity of 43,651 and more often than not every seat was sold … even for middle of the week games. The attendance record for this stadium is 46,528. It occurred in October 2009 for a National League Division Series (NLDS) playoff game.

Interestingly, the single largest crowd was for the National Hockey League (NHL) Winter Classic. 46,967 people showed up on January 2, 2012 to watch the hated New York Rangers play against the home team Philadelphia Flyers in a cold – make that very cold – outdoor contest. The visitors triumphed in overtime by a score of 2-1.

As is true for virtually all ballparks, Citizens Bank Park has interesting attractions and compelling events. For example, Ashburn Alley is situated in the stands behind centerfield and is a memorial to Phillies Hall of Fame centerfielder and long time broadcaster Richie Ashburn. The section is popular with fans for the restaurants located in that area and the memorabilia that lines the walls.

The Diamond Club and Hall of Fame Club are premium sections located in the lower and upper decks directly behind home plate. The seats are cushioned and comfortable and in each section there are indoor areas that are air conditioned. Specialty restaurants and shops help to enhance the experience.

Team management likes to remember and honor its best players. In Philadelphia, there are statues located around the ballpark for Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts, Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, four of the best players in the team’s long history.

Most modern stadiums present concerts during the summer months. Citizens Bank Park has put on shows featuring the Dixie Chicks, the Eagles, Keith Urban, Jon Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Elton John and many others.

Philadelphia is a great sports town and Citizens Bank Park – “The Bank” is a great place for fans to enjoy their favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Graphics via mateofischer, pastemagazine

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